Support Grows for Cellular V2X

Operators, Suppliers and Car-Makers Back Vehicle Networking Standard

Momentum continues to build behind the 3GPP-based standard known as cellular V2X (C-V2X). This technology enables communication between vehicles and with their environment, and is a core building block for intelligent transport systems. Recent months have witnessed a surge of announcements, as several of the largest players from the telecom industry are lining up to back C-V2X and commitment from automotive manufacturers continues to build.

At Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, the 5G Automotive Association brought together Audi, Ericsson, Ford, Huawei, Nokia and Qualcomm to show their support for the standard and present a string of developments in applications, chipsets and integration into equipment (or, in Huawei's case, in prototype automotive units and roadside equipment). Notably, Huawei highlighted China's enthusiasm for C-V2X, a trend highlighted in more detail at the association's general assembly in Shanghai in November 2017. This is a huge boost for the technology given China's size and scale.

Also at the Barcelona event, Qualcomm's 9150 chipset for C-V2X was used in demonstrations by ZTE, which announced modules and test terminals compatible with the standard, and by Rohde & Schwarz, which showed off its C-V2X signalling test solutions. This capability is an absolute necessity for interoperability between different suppliers' products to enable an independent certification regime for devices. It's also vital in proving that C-V2X can meet the extremely tight latency requirements to allow for deployment in safety-related direct communications between vehicles.

In addition, Austrian manufacturer of traffic control equipment Swarco said that its US subsidiary McCain would be presenting roadside equipment based on Qualcomm's chipset. This is a tentative yet important step in establishing C-V2X within roadside and broader city infrastructure.

It's been a busy few months for C-V2X. At CES earlier in 2018, Ford announced that it would be working with Qualcomm to ensure that the standard is implemented in vehicles and roadside equipment. In tandem, Ford issued a joint statement with bicycle manufacturer Trek and software supplier Tome that it would move to integrate C-V2X into a bicycle-to-vehicle communication system powered by artificial intelligence, in an effort to improve safety.

CES also saw the formation of the Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium to carry out field tests of technology based on C-V2X. This has widespread involvement from Audi, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Swarco Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. The initiative is being partly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure.

In parallel, more field trial consortia were announced, including one in Japan with the participation of Continental, Ericsson, Nissan, NTT DoCoMo, OKI and Qualcomm. Another group, the "Towards 5G" connected car partnership, involving Orange and the automotive manufacturing group PSA alongside Ericsson, was launched at the same time; Qualcomm joined at the time of Mobile World Congress.

But the proponents of rival dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) — notably NXP and Siemens, but also GM and Toyota — remain determined. DSRC isn't yet ready to join the elephants' graveyard of technologies whose moment came and went. There has been a slew of white papers, research reports and news articles claiming that the "mature" DSRC is technologically superior, cheaper to implement, ready now, and on the point of being mandated by the US government. There's a list of DSRC pilots doing the rounds too, hoping to show that, unlike C-V2X, the technology is already here.

Most of these are highly contestable, not least the claim that DSRC is about to become a regulatory requirement in the US, where there has been a series of unconfirmed reports, clarifications and re-clarifications about whether the Trump administration is about to kill off a safety-related process set in train by its predecessor.

C-V2X isn't the first time that the telecom industry has tried to create a peer-to-peer mesh-based networking protocol. Observers will remember LTE Direct, defined in 3GPP Release 12, for which Qualcomm was briefly an enthusiastic advocate. But that was in 2014; since then there have been few trials and no implementations of the technology. It seemed that telecom operators were uninterested in features that bypassed their networks.

However, we believe C-V2X is likely to be different. There are two core constituencies — future smart cities and car-makers — that absolutely need the direct element to meet their main requirements, especially for safety-related uses. Moreover, there's a business opportunity for the operators. Direct connectivity is also essential to maintain the momentum and the functional superiority over DSRC, which now seems to be falling behind.

This article first appeared in FierceWireless on 9 April 2018.

Sign up to our free Daily Insight service here.

This entry was posted on April 12th, 2018 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or you can leave a response.

Posted By Jeremy Green On April 12th, 2018

(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Amazon has released a lightweight Web browser for Android users, part of the company's larger strategy in India:
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @kestermann: Just published - our take on Telefonica’s 1Q. My stand-out metric: 7.8% growth in multiplay ARPU in Spain. Impressive give…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
RT @UploadVR: Don't worry -- #VR isn't going anywhere!
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
Amazing earnings for @facebook today in spite of recent scandals, though the full impact of those will not play out…
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Results like this not helpful to Facebook in current climate. This will only raise the volume on concerns $FB
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
Excellent opportunity to join CCS Insight in a sales role
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Got up close + personal with the iconic #IBM RAMAC today: the first commercial computer with magnetic disk drive fo…
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Our take on Comcast 1Q18 results and formal offer for Sky $CMCSA $SKY $DIS $FOXA
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
Just published - our take on Telefonica’s 1Q. My stand-out metric: 7.8% growth in multiplay ARPU in Spain. Impress…
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
RT @benwood: Fossil partners with Puma to offer smartwatches. A good brand to use for sports and fitness smartwatches which is one of the k…
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @benwood: P20 devices testament to Huawei's ambition in smartphone market. Consistently improving design, capabilities and appeal of its…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
New article up on the site! I look at the effect of GP apps on the NHS.
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Amazon Releases a Light Mobile Browser "Internet" Is an Android Web Browser for Emerging Markets L... Read more
Blog Post
Huawei Flaunts Its 5G Plans Unveils 5G Device Road Map at Its Global Analyst Summit Las... Read more
Blog Post
The Chips Are Down for ZTE Chinese Phone-Maker Removed from US Smartphone Gene Pool La... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Phone-Makers Betting on 5G Devices to Overcome Smartphone Slump Research firm CCS Insight forecasts dips in demand for mobil... Read more
More news