Collected C-V2X data provides roadway operators with improved situational awareness and a new ability to send safety-critical information directly to vehicles.
By Murray Slovick, Contributing Editor
Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) is a technology concept involving the use of cellular standards (including 5G). It’s competing with dedicated short-range radio (IEEE 802.11p/DSRC, developed from standard Wi-Fi) for a wide range of vehicle connectivity use cases and applications.
Just recently, the Ford Motor Company, Panasonic, and Qualcomm Technologies unveiled the first real-world application of C-V2X technology connecting the vehicle, roadways, and a regional traffic management center in Denver.
This first U.S. deployment of C-V2X technology, which can be integrated into an LTE-based telematics unit, is an extension of a previously announced partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Panasonic. That partnership involves integration of connected-vehicle technology in the state with deployment in select areas along the I-70 Mountain Corridor, scheduled for later in the year.
C-V2X is designed to be globally compatible with 5G and complement other advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) sensors such as cameras, radar, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR). C-V2X’s direct communication mode is designed to offer low-latency communications to vehicles for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating in the 5.9-GHz ITS spectrum. This step toward commercialization for C-V2X in a real-world setting at scale leverages the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution and subsequent products.
Demonstrations of the future of C-V2X took place at Panasonic’s City NOW headquarters in Denver. Scenarios set up on roads within the business park used a Ford Taurus to test the efficiency of V2V communication. The tests included:
- Electronic emergency brake light warning, which alerts the driver of a serious braking event down the road. Using a pickup that’s blocking visibility, the lead car hits the brakes. In the Taurus, audible beeps and a bright caution alert on the center console touchscreen indicate a potential crash scenario, so the driver can engage the Taurus’s brakes in response.
- Intersection movement assist is designed to prevent a side-impact collision (broadside crash) such as from a car “running” a red light.
- Traffic signal phase and timing provides information as to the next phase of traffic signals and will alert drivers to a potential red-light running violation.
- Pedestrian/Cyclist crossing warns drivers of pedestrians or bicyclists on the road.
- Left turn assist is designed to warn a driver who has signaled intent to turn left that an oncoming vehicle is quickly approaching.
Panasonic is working with Kapsch TrafficCom in CDOT’s V2X development program, in which Kapsch TrafficCom will provide roadside units. The company’s Barcelona-based subsidiary Ficosa, a Tier 1 supplier of automotive parts and systems, will provide C-V2X onboard units. The transit authority’s existing fleet of Ford utility vehicles will be equipped with C-V2X devices utilizing Ficosa’s CarCom platform to enable V2V and V2I direct communications.
Panasonic’s connected-vehicle data platform will collect and disseminate C-V2X data to provide roadway operators with improved situational awareness and a new ability to send safety-critical information directly to vehicles.
“The state of Colorado has been focused on the rapid deployment of connected-vehicle technology to advance safety and are encouraged by the progression of C-V2X,” says Michael P. Lewis, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. “We’re ready to help advance vehicle safety and serve as a hub for advanced vehicle testing, and development, with the support of Ford and technology leaders like Qualcomm Technologies and Panasonic.”
According to Panasonic, Internet of Things (IoT) linked roads are expected to reduce travel times by almost half, and potentially eliminate up to 80% of crashes.
Global C-V2X field validations with car manufacturers, automotive ecosystem participants, and in cooperation with regional governments are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan, and the U.S., with industry deployment expected to take place as early as 2020.