V2X Explainer: The Basics on Vehicle-to-Everything Technology

Aug 9, 2023

It's 2023, and cars are talking more than ever. With the evolution of connected car technology, the world is entering a new era where seamless communication between vehicles, drivers, and the environment is the norm. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is transforming transportation, a change that will have far-reaching impacts on nearly every part of the driving experience. Read on to learn the basics about the next big thing in automotive technology.

What is V2X?

The term "vehicle-to-everything," usually shortened V2X, describes the ability for a vehicle to communicate with the world around it. V2X technology enables vehicles to send and receive data with things on the road that they encounter along the way. When cars are connected using V2X technology, they become part of an interactive network that can include not just other vehicles (V2V), but also infrastructure (V2I), pedestrians (V2P), and other network connections (V2N). Like the internet does for computers, V2X technology provides connected vehicles and assets with real-time information that can unlock completely new capabilities, functions, and solutions for drivers, pedestrians, responders, and everyone else that shares the road.


V2X capabilities are not reliant or attached to any particular type of technology, communication method, or data type; in fact, most vehicles today come with some form of connectivity, making them capable of V2X communication of some kind. A vehicle can exchange information from a wide range of digitally connected sources, and all of them might contribute to V2X capabilities in some way. Today, vehicles primarily power V2X capabilities through everyday cellular networks, or with more advanced hardware and methods like 5.9 GHz radios that can communicate directly with other assets without using a network (similar to Bluetooth). No matter the method of connection, when a vehicle is equipped with the ability to connect with the world around it, everything changes.


Why Does V2X Matter?

Highway fatalities due to car crashes have shown an alarming upward trend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently estimated that  in 2022 alone, 42,795 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, highlighting the urgent need for improved safety measures. This statistic includes a concerning rise in casualties among first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and ambulance personnel. NHTSA further predicts that V2X will drastically enhance safety measures, with the potential to reduce crashes by 615,000 a year. This is possible because V2X technology helps cars keep a continuous tab on the surrounding environment, alerting drivers in real-time to potential hazards, traffic conditions, and other things that drivers or vehicles might not notice or anticipate until the last second.

V2X technology isn't just about convenience; it's about life-saving communication. It's particularly beneficial for emergency service vehicles and responders, who can use this technology to better alert other road users of their presence and urgency. This enables drivers to move over safely and promptly, preventing accidents and ensuring faster response times for emergencies.

The potential benefits of V2X go even further than safety; this technology has a significant role to play in improving traffic efficiency and shaping the future of automated driving systems. With V2X capabilities, future vehicles will be able to interpret the road situation ahead of them in real-time and automatically adjust their movement, reducing congestion and improving the overall driving experience.


How Does HAAS Alert Fit Into V2X?

As leaders and innovators in the V2X industry, HAAS Alert is helping to drive this technology forward with Safety Cloud®, our digital alerting solution for first responders, roadway workers, and infrastructure operators. Digital alerting is a type of V2X communication that alerts drivers when they're approaching some type of alerting hazard on the road. To get a firsthand look at how it operates, watch our "How it Works" video.

For decades, emergency vehicles, work zone equipment, school buses, and other specialty vehicles have relied on lightbars, sirens, arrow boards, and other analog alerting tools to warn drivers of their presence so that they can slow down and move over. V2X platforms and solutions like Safety Cloud enable those specialty vehicles to enhance their traditional alerting tools with an additional layer of digital communication that delivers an electronic message to drivers up to 30 seconds in advance, sometimes before a driver or vehicle can see or detect the hazard. These alerts reduce the likelihood of a collision by up to 90% and give drivers more time to slow down and move over.

Example Digital Alert

As of this writing, Safety Cloud digital alerts are available nationwide on millions of vehicles through leading brands including Jeep, Dodge, RAM, and Chrysler. Drivers can also receive these alerts on navigation apps like Waze, which can be displayed in their infotainment center through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. To understand the significance, read more about  Stellantis' recent implementation of Safety Cloud.  Safety Cloud digital alerts are a prime example of how V2X technology enhances road safety.  It brings the future of transportation into the present, alerting drivers about emergency vehicles and other roadway hazards in real-time. With Safety Cloud, first responders, municipal fleets, and even individual drivers can count on an enhanced level of safety and communication on the road.


What's Next in the Future of V2X?

Looking ahead, we see a world where V2X is an integral part of everyday travel. More connected vehicles, smarter cities, and safer roads - that's the future we envision. V2X technology is not just about making vehicles smarter; it's about making communities and journeys safer, and HAAS Alert is proud to be a part of driving this change.