Fuelling the Future of Connected Cars with 5G

Vehicles today are faced with the need to deliver different kinds of applications across different domains like infotainment, telematics, driver assistance and autonomous driving with maximum reliability, safety and privacy. This calls for stable, robust, consistent and secure connectivity. Besides being able to only communicate with other vehicles, they will also have to interact and communicate with pedestrians, devices, grids and various infrastructural elements. Collectively known as V2X.

Fortifying the Safety Standards of the Road:

The wide-ranging features of V2X can be leveraged to improve efficacy of safety standards on and off the road. Here’s a list of ways in which V2X can help achieve the feat:

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1. Platooning:
V2X can help form and move a convoy of vehicles closer to one another than can be safely achieved by human drivers.

2. Co-operative Driving:
Vehicles can use V2X to work together to minimize disruptions caused by lane changes and sudden braking.

3. Queue Warning:
Vehicles can communicate with roadside infrastructure using V2X to gather information about roadblocks, diversions or queues ahead to calculate speed and avoid hard braking.

4. Preventing Collisions:
V2X can be employed by vehicles to broadcast identity, position, speed, and direction. The broadcasted data can be used by surrounding vehicles to alert the driver of any potential foreseeable collisions.

5. Forecasting warnings:
V2X can be used to widen the horizon and line of sight. This will help vehicles detect hazards around a blind corner, obscured by fog or other obstructions, such as heavy vehicles or undulations in the landscape.

6. Towards Complete Autonomy:
V2X will help vehicles in its evolution towards achieving higher levels of autonomy.

The different V2X Standards:

Different types of V2X applications require varying strengths of connectivity. The two V2X standards used today – WLAN based and Cellular based fall short in various areas to support all the different types of V2X applications. An ideal standard that could power across V2X applications should have:

a. Very low latency (< 1ms delay)

b. High security

c. Ultra-reliable connectivity

d. Mobile broadband to support Augmented Reality (> 1 Gb/s)

In reality, there is no clear winner in the contention between the two standards used today. Each has its own advantages and following. While some applications may be better suited to the WLAN standard, other perform better in the Cellular standard (C-V2X).

5G- The future of V2X:

The biggest expectation in C-V2X is the introduction of 5G to meet the different connectivity requirements across all the different V2X application scenarios. In the 5G era, the C-V2X standard is likely to be able to support:

i. High reliability and very low latency to support platooning.
ii. Precise positioning and ranging to facilitate co-operative and automated driving.
iii. Low latency and high throughput to enable seamless transmission of raw or processed data.
iv. High throughput to help build maps from camera and sensor data.

Also, 5G will be able to support a very large number of simultaneous connections in a small geographic area, enabling each vehicle to gather more information about its immediate surroundings.

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A Peek of the Future:

To find out more about how and why 5G is more likely to be the future of V2X, download our whitepaper. It elucidates in detail the comparison between the different types of V2X standards across parameters like – functions, maturity, throughput, range, reliability, latency, mass market appeal etc.

It would be interesting to see the effect of 5G fuelled C-V2X on the outlook of major players like General Motors and Toyota who have always had a slight inclination towards the Wi-Fi based IEEE 802.11p standard. It goes without being said that 5G C-V2X standard will come packed with its own challenges like integration across geos, regulatory compliances etc. Yet as we look towards the future, 5G C-V2X does look poised with promise.