Five tech terms driving Intelligent Transportation5 minutes
The next generation of cars set to roll off the assembly line is compelling proof that technology is evolving at a rapid rate. Blink and connected vehicle features like onboard Alexa, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control will all come standard – merely scratching the surface of what’s in the works.
As futurist Ray Kurweil aptly predicted, the next era of transportation progress isn’t a century away, or even decades down the road.
In fact, it will be here this month.
C-V2X makes its real-world debut
We’ve been working with partners like the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to take the idea of a connected vehicle ecosystem out of the lab and into the real world, focused on delivering a production-grade deployment to Colorado roadways. As was recently announced, Panasonic, Qualcomm Technologies, and Ford Motor Company have joined forces to debut Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) direct communication technologies in Colorado – the first real-world deployment of its kind in this country.
What is the goal of the connected highway system we’re building? To improve roadway safety, lower fuel consumption and reduce congestion. Panasonic’s connected vehicle data platform will collect and disseminate real-time V2X data to provide roadway operators with improved situational awareness and a new ability to share safety critical information directly with vehicles.
This collaboration with CDOT, enabled by the Panasonic, Qualcomm Technologies, and Ford Motor Company partnership, is an exciting step towards early commercialization of C-V2X in a real-world setting at scale, setting the stage for the technology to achieve commercial readiness.
C-V2X directly connects vehicles to each other, infrastructure and people, transforming the transportation experience and paving the road to tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles. C-V2X provides an alternate radio technology to the WiFi-based radio technology known as Dedicated Short-Range Radio Communications (DSRC). C-V2X direct communications is designed to work in ITS spectrum, and its reduced time to deployment is afforded by a radio swap-out, reusing many years of V2X applications research, development and pilot deployment investment. It can benefit from established security and transport layers and application protocols defined by the automotive standards communities. It enables direct communications independent of cellular network coverage or network operator involvement. C-V2X is a modern radio technology that has evolved from mobile LTE Direct technology and optimized for automotive applications. Momentum continues to build around C-V2X because of its superior performance, and 5G compatibility.
The ABC's of C-V2X
Here are four more tech acronyms related to C-V2X that will soon enter the mainstream vernacular as the Intelligent Roadway System rapidly advances.
1. PC5: AKA sidelink for V2V, V2I and V2P
PC5 may sound like the latest video game console to top your kid’s Christmas list, but this short range direct communication interface is the secret sauce that sets C-V2X apart. Unlike DSRC, which employs technology derived from what’s in the Wi-Fi router in your home, PC5 is designed to benefit from advances in LTE technology to offer increased communication range (~2X), better non-line-of-sight (NLOS) performance, enhanced reliability, higher capacity, and better congestion control in denser environments. PC5 gives the capability to our transportation system to maintain the connectivity that moving vehicles require – and which is needed for safety-critical communication.
C-V2X has the capability of network communications in addition to direct communications, giving roadway operators state-of-the-art ability to deliver safety and mobility applications and services, in a manner that is cost-efficient.
2. V2N – Vehicle to Network
Not all in-vehicle communication is urgent – sometimes drivers just want to know which route will speed up their morning commute. Vehicle-to-network (V2N) systems connect vehicles to the cellular infrastructure and the cloud so drivers can enjoy connected tech like traffic updates and travel notifications. By leveraging existing cellular networks and mobile ecosystem support, C-V2X offers new business models and economic benefits, which is likely to expedite the deployment of C-V2X-equipped vehicles.
3. 5G – Fifth generation wireless
If you’ve got a device with internet access, you’ve probably heard of 5G, but not necessarily how it’s going to revolutionize driving as we know it. In the very near future, 5G will be the backbone of how we all communicate with each other and our “things,” and this can include safety in between vehicles. C-V2X today provides an evolutionary step towards the use of 5G tomorrow. The benefits of this evolution will include an agnostic, backwards compatible platform that ensures road operators and OEM’s can cost effectively take advantage of new advances in 5G wireless communications.
4. FOTA – Firmware over-the-air
Cars that can talk to each other understandably raise concerns about cybersecurity. One of the key ways to prevent attacks is to update software regularly, and that’s where Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) works its magic. Already an established cloud technology for mobile phones, its application to the automotive world helps to tackle the rapid evolution of connected car systems. FOTA can update a car’s software anywhere – at the showroom, in the garage, on the road. As our vehicles become more computer than machine, FOTA is one of the critical mechanisms for maintaining an up-to-date, secure system more effectively.