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Smart City Sentinel

Leading Smart City Peachtree Corners Selected by Audi for New Roadway Safety Developments

By Alex Passett

I’ve written a fair amount about Peachtree Corners, a smart city in Georgia powered by real-world connected infrastructure. (Yet to visit, though. If you’ve been, I’m sure it’s a gas; pun intended, ironically, because of the prevalence of electric vehicles there.) The Peachtree Corners-related articles I’ve penned – both here on Smart City Sentinel and on our Autonomous Vehicles page for IoT Evolution – detail how it’s basically a “smart city blueprint” for the U.S., as a whole.

Peachtree Corners has enabled a live 5G wireless environment, powered by next-gen connectivity provided to companies testing Internet of Things (IoT) and smart tech, as well as a zero-charge policy for the use of its smart city ecosystem. Enterprises looking to develop, test and deploy new devices and services need only go through the city’s government, in terms of smoother official approvals (much like at many startups). In addition, within Peachtree Corners is the Curiosity Lab; essentially a 5G-enabled “living laboratory” for innovation without undue corporate roadblocks.

The long story short? I’ve said it before, and it’ll be said again: Peachtree Corners has a lot of eyes on it, and for great reasons.

One reason in particular are the advanced vehicle (AV) roadways in the city which are able to leverage cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technologies. C-V2X, in short, is what allows vehicles to interact with each other, with traffic infrastructure, and with other users on the road. (e.g. pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) C-V2X can enhance overall road safety and improve traffic flow to prevent undue travel congestion; via either a direct communication with other vehicles or network communication that provides them information from infrastructure or cloud services.

And now, joining in on this smart ecosystem action is none other than Audi of America, Inc.

Audi has selected Peachtree Corners for the continued development and deployment of its C-V2X, which makes perfect sense. Peachtree Corners’ smart city experts are well-aware of how C-V2X practical deployment pathways fit perfectly within the established ecosystem, so this is a very opportune time to advance C-V2X applications that enable vehicles to communicate better not just with what we talked about earlier (e.g. direct or network communication), but also with more vulnerable road users, or VRUs.

This is an innovation play, sure, but also a safety one. With Audi having received a new waiver from the FCC to deploy this tech, both Audi and Peachtree Corners are ready-set-go for fine-tuning strategies on expanded connectivity, leading to safer means of ideally future-proofed transportation.

Moreover, Audi has been working with various partners (both public and private) since 2020 on C-V2X improvements for VRUs (e.g. workers in construction zones, parents and students in active school areas, and riders of bicycles, scooters and motorcycles), and it seems high time to take smart city ventures a safer step further with this Peachtree Corners-Audi collab.

Per its City Manager, Brian Johnson:

“We are honored to have been selected by Audi to redefine how automakers and cities can together unlock the future in the world's most unique smart city environment.”

And per Director of Audi Government Affairs, Brad Stertz:

“Peachtree Corners' smart city leadership makes it the perfect environment for us to confirm how the public sector and private sector can work together for the safety and other advantages that ready-to-deploy C-V2X technology can deliver. With one of the most complete smart city ecosystems anywhere, this environment will fully enable us to demonstrate the latest technology Audi has to offer for improved ultra-reliable and low-latency communications, leading to enhanced connectivity, increased safety and a better overall experience. It's one of the only places where every aspect of C-V2X comes together, including interaction with connected autonomous vehicles and VRUs – as a reflection of how cities and roads will look into the future.”

This kind of leap can’t exactly be replicated in closed locations. But Peachtree is very much an open environment, and this work with Audi has great potential.

Read more of our AV-related articles here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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