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C-V2X Technology Delivers Safety, Convenience

Bill Cramer

The acronym V2X (vehicle-to-everything) was a big part of the buzz at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) in Las Vegas earlier this month, with a handful of automakers committing to deploy technologies that will enable their cars to communicate with other vehicles, roadway infrastructure, and pedestrians’ smart phones.

The underlying technology from Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset—the ‘C’ extends the system’s reach to cellular networks—will be making its appearance in Ford and Audi cars and the Ducati Multistrada 1260 motorcycle, Digital Trends reported. At CES 2019, Ford unveiled bold plans to have all of their new cars “talk” and “listen” to each other by 2022.

The onsite demos were expected to show “how the technology works in the example of a four-way intersection without traffic signals, showing how the vehicles can behave co-cooperatively to negotiate right of way and deal with conditions where the driver has no line of sight to the object they are avoiding,” Digital Trends wrote earlier this month. “The no-line-of-sight case is exactly the kind of situation where C-V2X can benefit drivers in terms of safety and convenience.”

The vehicles were also seen interacting with each other, avoiding pedestrians, navigating around infrastructure, and avoiding angle collisions at intersections. “Besides additional safety, C-V2X is designed to also improve comfort and efficiency, which can be applied to both current and future autonomous driving,” said Anupam Malhotra, director of connected vehicles and data at Audi of America Inc.

One difference between C-V2X and previous connected vehicle technologies is that it relies on 5G cellular networks, in contrast to existing V2X systems that use DSRC. “That means Ford will have to rely on the smooth rollout of 5G,” Digital Trends noted. “Even the rollout of DSRC-based V2X vehicles and infrastructure has been slow and DSRC is based on a more familiar technology derived from Wi-Fi.”

Ford executive Don Butler covered that point in a blog post leading up to CES 2019. “A conducive regulatory environment must be in place for C-V2X to be deployed, which is why we are working just as much with industry and government organizations to create such a technology-neutral environment,” he wrote, in a post that compared C-V2X to the introduction of the first traffic light in 1868.

“Billions of dollars already are being spent as the cellular industry builds 5G networks, so we think the timing is perfect to give our vehicles some of the natural skills we use every day to get around,” he said.

Qualcomm told Digital Trends it expects 75% of new cars to be equipped with some form of connectivity within five years.

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