5GAA, Audi, Ford and Qualcomm demonstrate interoperable C-V2X communications

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The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Audi, Ford, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. have completed the world’s first demonstration of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) direct communications technology operating across vehicles from different manufacturers.

C-V2X is seen as a global solution for V2X communications to support improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency, and is the only V2X technology based on the globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications, with its ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G, and using upper layer protocols defined by the automotive industry, including Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) organizations.

The demonstration showcased the benefits of using C-V2X real-time direct communications on the globally harmonized 5.9GHz ITS spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) collision avoidance and improved road safety without any dependency on cellular operator network involvement, credentials or coverage.

The project organizations also unveiled initial field test results showing a significant range, reliability and performance advantage of C-V2X direct communications, with more than twice the range and improved reliability compared to 802.11p DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) radio technology.

Based on C-V2X’s potential to enhance safety and save lives, the 5GAA, Audi, Ford and Qualcomm partnership is encouraging the broad automotive ecosystem to accelerate adoption of C-V2X, which is expected to be deployed as early as 2020. C-V2X is supported by a broad automotive ecosystem, that includes the fast-growing 5GAA global organization, which currently has over 80 members comprising leading auto makers, Tier-1 suppliers, software developers, mobile operators, semiconductor companies, test equipment vendors, telecom suppliers, traffic signal suppliers and road operators.

Featuring Audi and Ford vehicles that incorporate the C-V2X technology using chipsets from Qualcomm, the showcase exhibited various scenarios of how C-V2X communications is beneficial for road safety. These included situations with obstructed or no visibility, including Left Turn Assist and Emergency Electronic Brake Light use cases, in which V2V communications alerted surrounding vehicles when cars were turning left or braking.

Additional use cases were featured, including a vulnerable road user (VRU) demonstration showcasing what can be possible with future vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communications. Use cases for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication were also demonstrated, which highlighted how direct communications can work closely with traffic signal controllers to ensure reduction in carbon emissions, and optimization of traffic efficiency in cluttered intersections and dense environments.

“We are excited to witness this monumental breakthrough in the evolution of C-V2X and the growing momentum behind this life-saving technology,” said Christoph Voigt, chairman of 5GAA. “After years of development supported by leading car makers, technology providers and the automotive ecosystem at large, C-V2X is ready to improve road safety with deployment in production vehicles and road infrastructure as soon as 2020, leveraging a state-of-the-art proven radio with decade-long developed automotive software protocols

“This unique showcase firstly demonstrates the commitment of our members to ensure that the potential of the C-V2X technology is realized, and represents a key step towards the next generation of cellular technology – 5G.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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