A new report predicts strong growth over the next five years for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology, the next generation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that enables the wireless exchange of data between vehicles and road infrastructure.
Much of the legacy ITS market is still dominated by Traffic Management and Electronic Toll Collect (ETC) systems for remote video monitoring, digital signage, intelligent traffic lights and highway tolling, says tech market advisory firm ABI Research. However, the V2I component of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is expected to reinvigorate the roadside infrastructure market and generate revenue growth of USD22bn (£17bn) by 2024.
One factor that might delay investments in roadside V2I units is continued regulatory uncertainty in Europe and the United States around spectrum allocations for the competing Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) standards, explained Dominique Bonte, vice president for End Markets at ABI Research.
“Developing and implementing hybrid V2X roadside units that support both standards is being considered by several technology vendors such as Commsignia, which launched a dual-radio roadside unit at CES 2020,” Bonte added, noting that building in support for both standards will increase complexity and cost.
On the other hand, roadside V2I units will increasingly be integrated into existing smart streetlight platform systems, cellular small cells and other roadside equipment and this modular approach will reduce installation costs and accelerate deployments.
Looking further ahead, ABI Research expects virtualisation of ITS roadside infrastructure to fundamentally disrupt the market.
“The arrival of low latency and high bandwidth 5G connectivity will enable edge cloud services to at least partially replace physical ITS roadside assets like digital and road signage, toll gates, and even traffic lights and video surveillance by making redundant the intermediate physical infrastructure layer between vehicles and the cloud,” the research firm explained.
Next-generation traffic management centres will be cloud-based and remotely and automatically monitor and control driverless vehicles, for example by dynamically imposing flexible maximum speeds to optimise traffic flow – requiring legacy ITS vendors to transform their businesses, Bonte concluded.