Regulators and automotive OEMs embracing C-V2X for vehicular connectivity

We’re all familiar with the futuristic vision of highways filled with vehicles driving themselves while passengers, fully confident in the technological abilities of connected vehicular systems, catch up on emails or finish watching their favorite television show. It’s a long road to that future but 5G is poised to serve as the connectivity fabric that will enable vehicles to connect with everything around them, paving the way for a whole new world of smart transportation.

One important component of C-V2X is the sidelink concept, which refers to a vehicle using high-performance cellular technology to communicate directly with other vehicles, smart infrastructure, pedestrians, or other road users without the need for a cellular network.

Qualcomm Senior Staff Manager of Engineering Arzu Karaer explained what C-V2X sidelink can enable in the real world. In the upcoming Rel. 16 5G standard, a new capability provides multicast connectivity that makes direct vehicle-to-vehicle communication more reliable even when there are buildings or other obstructions in play. . Picture a four-way intersection with an emergency vehicle approaching and cross traffic coming from both sides; the emergency vehicle has an unobstructed view of the vehicle coming from the right, while the view of the vehicle approaching from the left is obstructed by a building.

“As soon as I enable the C-V2X,” Karaer said, “there’s a target range that’s calculated for these vehicles based on their speeds. As soon as the emergency vehicle enters the target range…the vehicle from the left side and the vehicle from the right side are detected at the same time. The obstructed vehicle’s speed is not changing. As a result of this, we see that there’s a warning message that’s displayed on the dashboard and [the emergency vehicle]starts braking and it comes to a safe stop and safely proceeds through the intersection.”

For a visualization of this scenario, as well as how C-V2X shifts as conditions change, watch the below video.

In Europe, a new standard defining the use of C-V2X, as an access layer technology for Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) has been approved recently through the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute. ETSI standards defining other ITS protocols above the access layer have also been updated to support utilization of C-V2X as the underlying access layer and are included in the ETSI ITS Release 1 specification set.

Seven products running on Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset solution have now completed certification in accordance with the European radio equipment directive (RED) certification in Europe. Qualcomm called it a “major step forward toward the commercial introduction of C-V2X in Europe”.

Dino Flore, vice president of technology at Qualcomm Europe, said: “In the past few months, we have seen tremendous momentum for C-V2X around the world. Thanks to our joint efforts with leading automotive and infrastructure companies, there are now multiple RED-certified C-V2X products, which paves the way to C-V2X commercialization in Europe.”

Additional Qualcomm Technologies’ C-V2X products will be available in 2020, such as next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 4G Platform and Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform (SA415M, SA515M), which provide concurrent C-V2X with 4G and 5G, respectively.

In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) counted 6 million vehicle crashes reported to police in 2017 resulting in more than 34,000 deaths, significant property damage and related costs in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering a notice of proposed rulemaking that could reallocate 75 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band for C-V2X among other uses.

As it works with regulators and stakeholders on this issue, Qualcomm is advocating for the entire block of spectrum to be allocated for C-V2X. In a March letter to the FCC, SVP of Spectrum Strategy and Technology Policy Dean Brenner and John Kuzin, VP and Regulatory Counsel, said at least 60 megahertz but preferably 75 megahertz be made available to fully support 5G for vehicular communications–applications like roadway safety, and automated and coordinated driving.

“These new applications,” the Qualcomm executives wrote, “require each vehicle to continuously share with other nearby vehicles and roadway infrastructure a constant stream of information on its ever-changing surroundings and desired trajectory, as well as information on other roadway users who may be in harm’s way but not equipped with C-V2X capabilities.”

Karaer showed a simulation of this exact situation with the same emergency vehicle approaching the intersection described above but with two vehicles not equipped with C-V2X. In this case, the emergency vehicle can still safely brake because it’s receiving data on the cars without C-V2X from other C-V2X-equipped vehicles on the road. “Even with limited deployments, we can still get benefits of the C-V2X technology through sensor sharing,” she said.

To get a look at how 5G C-V2X works in the real world, check out this demonstration presented by Qualcomm’s Shailesh Patil.

For more information on how Qualcomm is fostering innovation, visit the 5G Resource Center. For the latest in technology demonstrations, check out the following:

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