Spoke protects vulnerable road users at Peachtree Corners

  • May 1, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Denver-based technology company Spoke is working with Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to test vulnerable-road-user and C-V2X technologies to improve roadway safety.

Peachtree Corners in Georgia is a US smart city powered by real-world connected infrastructure and 5G. The collaboration with Spoke aims to transform roadway safety and rider connectivity by delivering a connected IoT ecosystem for vulnerable road users (VRUs).

This technology provides insight and contextual awareness to drivers by connecting VRUs to the mobility ecosystem around them, ensuring VRUs are seen and protected. This partnership allows Spoke to continue testing and developing its VRU2X technologies using Curiosity Lab’s living smart city ecosystem where real drivers, pedestrians and autonomous vehicles use the public roadways each day.

The VRU2X system leverages three levels of connectivity within the mobility system. This includes C-V2X to provide direct and immediate communication between cars and VRUs, LTE 5G cellular communications for contextual awareness alerts between cars and VRUs, and camera and radar for vehicle identification and visualisation. Leveraging these layers of connectivity, Spoke’s technology ensures VRUs, including pedestrians and cyclists, are identifiable by vehicles and that VRUs are aware of vehicles before the naked eye can detect them. Spoke also works with car maker Audi in conducting C-V2X initial deployments to develop technology around bicycle-to-vehicle use cases.

“The technology we have created is a culmination of our passion for cycling, our own experiences feeling unsafe or being injured as a VRU and our vision of making roadways safer for all,” said Spoke chief operations officer Reid Sigety. “With our partner Qualcomm, we have reimagined the form factor for C-V2X technology, making this small enough to fit on a bike without disturbing the biker or impacting the performance. Dedicated hardware provides additional safety benefits that help reduce crashing and incident-related congestion while providing high location accuracy with an anonymous connection ten times per second. Partnering with Curiosity Lab not only allows us to continue to improve and develop further, but also gives us a space to see how these will improve in real-world scenarios. We are excited to further test and refine this technology with our partners at Peachtree Corners and to continue to improve with the goal of saving lives across the country.”

The partnership will allow Spoke to continue to test its C-V2X and VRU2X technology within certain Peachtree Corners municipal vehicles and will be used by select Peachtree Corners road workers to improve safety while working along public roads. This will be done using Commsignia’s C-V2X central system, which will be measuring its effectiveness. In addition, Spoke will integrate its technologies into Curiosity Lab’s existing infrastructure for further testing with the goals of developing standards for C-V2X messaging, helping grow the city’s C-V2X ecosystem and collaborating to build LTE and HMI use cases to expand VRU2X messaging.

“Safety for our residents, cyclists and pedestrians is a top priority,” said Peachtree Corners city manager Brian Johnson. “Each year nearly 1000 bicyclists are killed and over 130,000 are injured in crashes or incidents on public roadways in the USA. Spoke’s technology is the first C-V2X implementation made for pedestrians, cyclists and other VRUs to use while along public roadways. With this in mind, making the decision to partner with Spoke and test these technologies in our city was an easy one.”