Israeli startup to deploy hazard-alerting chipsets on Germany’s autobahn

Autotalks chipsets, which allow vehicles to ‘talk’ with one another, will be installed at traffic signals along the German federal highway in bid to prevent accidents

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Israeli startup Autotalks develops chipsets that allow vehicles to communicate or “talk” with one another, and connect to road infrastructure. (Courtesy)
Israeli startup Autotalks develops chipsets that allow vehicles to communicate or “talk” with one another, and connect to road infrastructure. (Courtesy)

Israeli startup Autotalks, a maker of smart vehicle communication systems, on Monday announced a partnership for the first deployment of its chipsets at roadside traffic signals along Germany’s autobahn, the country’s federal highway, aimed at improving road safety and lowering the risk of accidents.

The Kfar Netter-based company has teamed up with Germany’s Afusoft, which focuses on communication and security technology, to deploy its chipsets at road-work signs on the autobahn.

Autotalks develops chipsets based on sensor technology, which allows vehicles to communicate or “talk” with one another and connect to road infrastructure. The sensor can “see” around corners and through any obstacle or obstruction within a radius of up to one mile for the early detection of hazards, the startup says.

The Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) system uses connected car technology to warn other vehicles and their drivers of hazards before they can be seen in an effort to increase road safety, thereby reducing the risk of traffic accidents.

“Being chosen to power the first V2X devices on German highways is a substantial step towards widespread deployment.” said Autotalks CEO Hagai Zyss. “In addition to our momentum in China and Korea, we expect to keep playing a key role in deploying lifesaving V2X solutions in Germany and in other European countries.”

As part of the collaboration with Afusoft, at least 150 roadside units will be installed with Autotalks chipsets along Germany’s autobahn in the coming months, “with plans for thousands more to be deployed in the near future,” the automotive startup said in a statement.

Israeli startup Autotalks develops chipsets for smart infrastructure communication. (Courtesy)

“Until now, during road works or winter road service, traffic has been diverted with an arrow on a service vehicle,” Autotalks explained. “Thanks to the V2X-powered Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS), drivers will get alerts on the works in real time, a kilometer in advance, to ensure the safety of the car occupants and the road service teams.”

Autotalks says that the “technology can help prevent accidents, especially in bad weather and on a fast-moving road.”

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years, according to the World Health Organization. About 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

V2X-powered smart traffic control systems work in all environments and weather conditions, such as rough weather or poor lighting, to help prevent collisions. The technology is installed mostly on road works signs that are located on service vehicles. Cars equipped with V2X systems, like Volkswagen Golf, ID.3, and ID.4, displays the alert on their infotainment screen.

The collaboration between Autotalks and Afusoft will also allow for smart traffic control signals and alerts for the use of emergency vehicles such as trucks or ambulances.

“An emergency vehicle can request a priority signal from Afusoft’s roadside unit when approaching the intersection,” Autotalks said in the statement. “That allows the fire brigade vehicle to drive through an intersection at a green light without stopping, resulting in increased safety, punctuality, and lower carbon emissions.”

“In the future, the fire brigade vehicles will implement this V2X technology as well,” the Israeli startup said.

In September, Autotalks announced a deal with two unnamed Chinese car manufacturers automakers for the deployment of its V2X technology. The first V2X-powered car is expected to roll out in China in the second half of 2023. The other Chinese automaker will roll out the V2X-equipped car in both China and Europe starting early 2024.

Founded in 2008, the Israeli startup has raised more than $150 million in total via a number of funding rounds.

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