Get Smart: Jargon Busting On The Road

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘smart vehicles’ and ‘smart roads’ thrown around quite a bit lately. Well, with Highways England’s plans to convert motorways into Smart Highways by 2030, it seems like connected Vehicles and Intelligent Transport Systems are the future for UK hauliers andowner drivers. Known as the National Roads Telecommunications, the plans include the installation of a high-speed-fibre-optic cable network. It will provide internet connectivity to road signals, speed limits, beam traffic information and CCTV cameras. The final goal is to connect it to smart vehicles, too.

As an owner driver, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by these new systems, don’t worry! This glossary provides all the information you’ll need.

V2X: Vehicle-to-Everything

V2X is an all-encompassing term that describes the standards that are being set for vehicle-to-vehicle communications, for connectivity protocols between on-board vehicle systems, and for communications between vehicles and road infrastructure.

You should also note that, in Europe, V2X development is part of ETSI’s Intelligent Transport Systems group. It is referred to as ITS-G5.


In the same way that the military and police have their own communication channel, creators of the V2X quickly realised that they would need an exclusive bandwidth to stop hackers or unauthorised people from accessing safety-critical wireless communications. This is where the IEEE 802.11p comes in. Specifically created for V2X and Intelligent Transport Systems apps, it has been engineered to use 75 MHz bandwidth on the 5.9 GHz spectrum only. Essentially, it means that other vehicles and infrastructure won’t interfere with the signal.


Vehicle-to-Vehicle refers to communications between trucks. This is a useful tool for any owner driver, as it is being developed for autonomous vehicles. You may already have heard of its use in driver assistance systems, with vehicles that brake on their own or can park themselves.

V2V also includes:

·         WAVE: Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments

·         VANET: Vehicle Ad Hoc Networks


When an on-board vehicle system can connect with external infrastructure, this is referred to as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication. This includes interactions with Smart Motorway data points, as well as the use of electronic tolling systems.


Coined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Co-Operative ITS refers to applications that simplify road communications. These apps will improve travel safety and better traffic management, as well as limiting environmental impacts. It is ideal for any owner driver,as the C-ITS supports full autonomous driving.


Standardised across the EU, ITS-G5 refers to the automotive ITS and Road Transport and Traffic Telematics (RTTT) regulations. As Intelligent Transport Systems across the EU will use the same 5.9 HMz frequency, all transport safety applications will be available across the continent.


An exchange of data between your vehicle and the roadside is known as Dedicated Short Range Communications. Toll plazas, for instance, use this system.

Keep this glossary as a reference guide. With Smart Vehicles becoming increasingly popular, it will make your job as an owner drivereasier until you’re fully comfortable with the jargon.

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Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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