Cellular V2X: Who will make the most of it and when?

V2X- by HarmanAutomotive industry is undergoing major transformation fueled by the evolution of communications networks and the rising demand for connected experience. Come 5G, telematics will gain a new dimension propelled by the new vehicle-to-everything (V2X) concept. If reports are to believe, cellular V2X (C-V2X) market is projected to exceed USD 800 million by 2025.

C-V2X is based on the 5G cellular mobile network standard and is expected to take over the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), an open-source protocol based on 802.11p wireless LAN technology. Though launched two years ago, DSRC has not made it to the mainstream due to the ongoing technology standards battle between the two.

C-V2X promises a vast array of services including the connected car and automated driving facilities offered by current technologies.  By enabling interconnectivity across V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), V2N (vehicle-to-network), V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle), V2P (vehicle-to-pedestrian), V2D (vehicle-to-device) and V2G (vehicle-to-grid), V2X will support applications such as hazard warnings, cooperative adaptive cruise control, platooning, and more.

Smart cities will largely benefit from the integrated concept covered in C-V2X.   With infrastructure acting as the key in smart city concept, the V2I segment is expected to gain traction quickly. As per the Market Study Report, the V2I communication segment alone is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 12 percent by 2025 due to the increase in the adoption of smart traffic infrastructure.

In smart cities, real-time communication helps vehicles deal with situations that neither the driver nor the vehicle’s built-in sensors can identify, enabling safer and more predictive driving.

A typical example of a V2I implementation is Colorado’s V2X Technology Safety and Mobility Improvement Project. It is built on a 537-mile V2I network that provides real-time communication with connected vehicles and notifies the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) of collisions or accidents on the road.

C-V2X technology is expected to hit the roads by 2022 when 5G becomes mainstream in many regions. Thanks to the low latency and high bandwidth promise of 5G network, C-V2X can deliver enhanced reliability over extended communication range, better non-line-of-sight performance, and great resilience for interference arising from other devices, says Market Study Report.

“The enhanced bandwidth capabilities of 5G enable autonomous vehicles to be fully connected at all times with each other, roadside infrastructure, and pedestrians. The low latency of 5G technology helps in the fast response in autonomous driving, which will help in avoiding accidents that happen due to sudden lane changes,” the report said.

The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a cross-industry consortium, has been engaged in defining 5G V2X communications for different use cases. The consortium now holds 120 members, including leading carmakers like Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford Motor, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo; tech companies such as Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm; auto electronics companies like Alpine, Continental and Bosch; network equipment makers  including Nokia and Ericsson; and carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone.

However, LTE-powered V2X systems are also available in the market. Nokia, for example, has developed a system augmented with Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), LTE advanced, NB IoT and LTE. As per the company, the hybrid use of the LTE portfolio will meet automotive industry needs on their way to 5G.

With C-V2X deployments becoming a reality, the business possibilities are also being explored. Reports indicate that hardware segment, including chipsets, modules, On-Board Units (OBUs), and Roadside Units (RSU), is expected to hold a major share in C-V2X  by 2025 due to the increase in the adoption of autonomous vehicles.

Major players like Qualcomm, Nokia, STMicroelectronics, NXP Semiconductor, and Harman are among the first to try C-V2X by forging partnerships with ecosystem players.

ST, for example, has partnered with Autotalks for the co-development of open-market optimized V2X chipsets meeting the quality standards required by the automotive industry.

Qualcomm has developed Qualcomm  Aerolink solutions designed to work with C-V2X as well as DSRC  technologies to provide security services. Qualcomm has successfully trialed C-V2X technology with diverse partners like Continental, Ericsson, NTT DOCOMO, Nissan, and OKI for C-V2X trials in Japan.

HARMAN, together with Samsung, is developing 5G-V2X applications relating to vehicle safety and efficiency, and for commercial use.

Quectel, a provider of 5G LTE and C-V2X modules, is offering AG15, an automotive grade C-V2X module which meets the telematics and V2X connectivity requirements for autonomous driving.

The MarketStudyReport also highlights that Asia Pacific will emerge as a key market for C-V2X, supported by large-scale digitalization of urban infrastructure in countries including China, South Korea, and India.

The new traffic norms and the rising awareness on road safety have encouraged India to adopt new telematics technologies. According to the latest report from Research and Markets, India connected car market is estimated to be USD 9.8 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 32.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 22.2 percent during the forecast period.

No doubt, C-V2X will revolutionize the automotive industry in the next few years. However, it is also important to remember that connectivity is central to this network transformation; only those who can commit seamless connectivity across 5G network can dream of this transformation.

Rajani Baburajan

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