For the first time in Europe, a collaboration between Bosch, Vodafone and Huawei has successfully field-tested a cellular-vehicle-to-everything (Cellular-V2X) advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that no longer just alerts drivers, but actively supports them as well.
Bosch, Vodafone and Huawei have been performing trials of the new, high-performance technology since February 2017. The companies have been using Germany’s A9 ‘smart autobahn’ in Bavaria as the location for the field tests, and having previously trialed LTE-V2X technology, the recent research has been conducted with the first 5G network test modules.
For the first time in Europe, the partners are demonstrating that driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) can also benefit from the direct, instantaneous exchange of information between vehicles. Until now, cellular-V2X has been used as a real-time alert system when changing lanes on the freeway or when the car ahead suddenly brakes. ACC not only warns the driver, but also automatically accelerates or brakes the vehicle, with the new mobile telephony system paving the way for future automated driving systems.
Achieving the goal of fully connected traffic will involve teaching vehicles to communicate with each other and exchange data directly. Direct communication between vehicles can provide information about what is happening in parts of an intersection not visible to the driver, over the crest of a hill, or on the freeway beside or behind the driver’s own car.
The ACC system maintains a speed specified by the driver and, due to a radar sensor, also follows at a preset distance to the vehicle in front. ACC detects when a vehicle suddenly cuts in front of it, as soon as it enters the radar sensor’s detection range. When cars communicate directly and in real-time using cellular-V2X, it is possible to detect these events sooner. Through mobile telephony, connected cars can directly transmit information, such as their position and speed, to all vehicles within a radius of more than 984ft (300m).
The 5G cellular-V2X is also able to connect vehicles without going through any intermediate channels via the base stations, and with virtually no delay. As a result, a vehicle knows the behavior of others around it, and the ACC knows what is about to happen, even before it registers with the driver or the radar sensor.
Even in congested traffic, this function makes driving more relaxed and stress-free for drivers, while also preventing sudden braking and acceleration on the freeway. Due to the ‘foresight’ provided by the technology, overall traffic flow becomes smoother and more efficient.