Reseachers suggest 4G infrastructure to cut vehicle accidents

January 18, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Recent research suggests that a pre-existing 4G network infrastructure could help drivers make safe decisions in or near accidents.

Winning the 'Best Paper Award', the research carried out by the University of Bristol Communication Systems & Networks (CSN) Group, in collaboration with the Université Blaise Pascal in France, was presented at the international conference Signal Processing, Telecommunications & Computing (SigTelCom) 2017, supported by IEEE, Newton Fund and British Council.

A key factor in vehicle-related accidents is the lack of information and if drivers are aware of their surroundings and road conditions, many accidents could be avoided. A key question is how high-quality data can be shared by an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) to help drivers in emergency situations. Further, as driverless cars begin to gain momentum, improvements will be needed to ensure vehicles receive the correct information.

The researchers suggest a cost-effective solution to this problem is for city-owned base stations to form a single frequency network (SFN), which will enable drivers to have the information they need to make safe decisions in or near accidents.

In order to ensure that transmissions are reliable, tight bounds on the outage probability would need to be developed when the SFN is overlaid on an existing cellular network.

The researchers also present an extremely efficient transmission power allocation algorithm that, for the situations outlined, can reduce the total immediate SFN transmission power by up to 20 times compared to a static uniform power allocation solution. This is particularly important when base stations rely on an off-grid power source, such as batteries.