The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a global, cross-industry organization from the automotive, technology, and telecommunications industries (ICT), is eyeing the first commercial deployment of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communication technology in China by 2020.
“This will be followed swiftly in other regions when local regulations allow for it,” it said in a news release.
C-V2X communication is the state-of-the-art, high-speed cellular communications platform that enables vehicles to communicate with one another using either direct short-range communications or cellular networks, according to the organization.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, 5GAA gathered experts from the automotive, technology and telecom industries to explain the C-V2x roadmap.
5GAA explained that LTE-V2X, the initial version of C-V2X, allows vehicles to communicate with each other and their surroundings and, together with 5G enhancements, facilitating broad scale improvements in road safety.
While C-V2X network-based solutions are already widely deployed, direct communication solutions will be commercially available this year.
“As such the C-V2X platform delivers safety, mobility, traffic efficiency, and environmental benefits. C-V2X is designed with an evolutionary path to 5G and supports safe and efficient operations of autonomous vehicles,” it said.
5GAA disclosed that class production of C-V2X chips including direct communication from several suppliers is ongoing, and multiple radio vendors have already integrated these chips into their automotive radio offerings.
“2019 is the year when C-V2X direct communication technology will be commercially available across the globe,” it said, adding that full interoperability testing on C-V2X applications is ongoing among 5GAA members.
"C-V2X is now ready to roll. At Ford, we will begin to deploy this technology in all new models launching in the US starting in 2022," confirmed Don Butler, Executive Director of Connected Vehicle & Services at Ford Motor Co.
A showcase of use cases
At the MWC, a number of 5GAA members are announcing groundbreaking use cases, including Telefónica, Ericsson, Ficosa and Seat show 5G connected car use cases supported by C-V2X direct communication for safer driving in a city.
5GAA members Continental and Vodafone are also working together to increase road safety and protect all road users for instance via "digital safety-shield" for cyclists and pedestrians, using C-V2X direct communication and edge computing in the first 5G deployments.
Meanwhile, Rohde & Schwarz has announced a collaboration with automotive electronics specialist Vector on a C-V2X end-to-end application layer test solution to verify safety-critical V2X scenarios.
Deutsche Telekom has likewise announced the first C-V2X tests together with Skoda Auto in Czech as part of the European C-Roads project.
Geely also announced its plans to launch the first mass-produced C-V2X enabled vehicles in China together with Qualcomm in 2021 while Qualcomm has announced its first 5G automotive platform, enabling both C-V2X short and long-range modes, which is expected to sample later this year and are planned for production vehicles in 2021.
"By bringing together key actors of the mobility ecosystem — across the automotive, information and communications technology industries — 5GAA continuously strives to develop forward-looking solutions for intelligent transportation services. Both for today and tomorrow," said Thierry Klein, 5GAA Vice Chair and Head of the Disruptive Innovation Program at Nokia Bell Labs.
"These end-to-end integrated solutions bring enhanced safety, sustainability, and convenience to all road users. 5GAA is very excited to be pioneering the revolution towards a smarter and more connected mobility world," he added.