Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) is an exciting technology with many new life-saving use case scenarios for all kinds of vehicles. In a HARMAN webinar, ‘The C-V2X Communications Race’, representatives from HARMAN, Qualcomm and Strategy Analytics discussed C-V2X applications throughout the world.
Meanwhile, Verizon is testing C-V2X safety scenarios with automakers and municipalities in the U.S.
Why is C-V2X Exciting and Significant?
There are day one applications that make C-V2X relevant for protecting vulnerable road users and enhancing location in support of autonomous vehicles, says Roger C. Lanctot, Director, Automotive Connected Mobility, Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics.
Vehicle to everything communication can help make drivers aware of those vulnerable road users such as emergency responders, construction workers, bicyclists and pedestrians. That is a vision that is being adopted both in Europe and North America, says Lanctot.
He also notes traffic light time to green has been working with cellular applications with C-V2X it will enhance the capability even further.
“Traffic signal synchronization for emergency responder pre-emption service vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines will be the first implementation of this technology in communicating their presence to avoid collisions,” explains Lanctot.
He says the significance of C-V2X is that you are getting both direct vehicle-to-vehicle communication and network communications to enhance the safety of the driving experience. However, Automakers want a carrier agnostic platform with ubiquitous connectivity globally—a single global multi-carrier SIM.
There is a recognition that connectivity is necessary and implicated in regulatory requirements such as the revised General Safety Regulation [from the European Commission].
“GSR is an acronym you are going to hear more and more,” says Lanctot.
The GSR requirements are starting to take effect in 2022 and particularly in 2024. Most of the safety applications require connectivity and better contextual and awareness within the vehicle, adds Lanctot.
Another application is Speed Assist Systems. This mandate that kicks in for all new cars in Europe from 2024 will require car connectivity for 14 years.
The industry is confronting the need for connectivity in the car. That connectivity needs to be functioning to support the applications. It needs to enable recognition and rendering of the speed limit icon in the instrument cluster. To do that, it requires back-end machine learning technology and artificial intelligence to merge different data resources from the camera and sensors in the car, says Lanctot.
“Connectivity is essential. OEMs are looking for global single SIM solutions. More connected services are coming to the car, influencing purchasing decisions. Contextual experiences require live and functioning connectivity with wireless coverage,” advises Lanctot.
China Proves C-V2X Stops Speeding and Warns of Hazards
China is showing collaborative lessons learned from C-V2X. There is a national resolve for C-V2X. The industry has responded. There have been showcases and public announcements with a variety of architectures that can support each other, says Jim Misener, Senior Director, Product Management and Global Vehicle-to-Everything Ecosystem Lead, Qualcomm Technologies.
At the 2020 China SAE Annual conference, OEMs and solution providers worked together on standards and completions of sub-standards.
C-V2X use cases at China SAE 2020 discussed included speed limit warning, hazardous location warning, red light violation, green light optimal speed advisory, vulnerable road user collision-warning, forward collision warning, blind spot warning and abnormal vehicle warning. Plus, there was built-in security to defend against forgeries.
“We can use the SKUs from China and the experience in China as a launching point for other parts of the world,’’ says Misener.
In October 2021, there were demonstrations of C-V2X in Shanghai and Suzhou with automakers and suppliers. Demonstrated was speed limit warning, pedestrian warnings, forward collision warning: school zone alert, left turn assist, no parking zone and blind spot warning in Shanghai.
In Suzhou, 27 OEMs participated in forward collision warning, pedestrian warning, cooperative lane change, sensor sharing, traffic jam alert, left-turn assist, blind spot warning, construction site warning, hazardous vehicle warning, cooperative lane change and emergency vehicle warning.
“I hope that China offers a clarion call that these applications do work,” says Jim Misener.
“Cameras alone cannot solve the detecting the two-wheeler problem.”
HARMAN is focusing on building partnerships. HARMAN is working with AWS and AT&T, Verizon, Stellantis, 5GAA (5G Automotive Association) and MEC4Auto Trials.C-V2X can offer customer advantages throughout the world today.
Applications include presence notification, event notification, vulnerable road users, emergency vehicle warning, traffic management and connected automation, says Ravi Puvvala, VP of Sales – Telematics & Infrastructure, HARMAN.
Puvvala was the founder and CEO of Savari Inc. HARMAN purchased all Savari Inc. assets earlier this year. The HARMAN Savari StreetWAVE RSU (Road Side Unit) features 5G and C-V2X connectivity to enable communication between infrastructures and vehicles. The HARMAN Savari MobiWAVE wireless vehicular on-board unit (OBU) combines V2X services and a telematics control unit.
The key differentiators for China can show what other countries do for customer benefits. C-V2X enables 360° awareness that enables automation such as Level 4 autonomous driving. It is done through infrastructure roadside units connected via the edge to the cloud. C-V2X can provide precise positioning. The roadside infrastructure supports autonomous applications, says Puvvala.
In addition to autonomous driving, a lot of the focus has been on safety ratings. In China, its new car assessment program (NCAP) has different classes of sensors and scanners including infrared cameras that can be used for traffic sign recognition and driver drowsiness, says Puvvala.
He says NCAP with C-V2X is going to boost the safety assist category. China will introduce C-V2X in 2024. EU NCAP is expected to propel C-V2X by 2025. HARMAN predicts that by 2030 the most other NCAP programs will boost the safety aspects of C-V2X.
C-V2X can play a key role to mitigate human limitations such as not paying attention, missing a stop sign, blinding by weather conditions or unintentional blindness due to focusing on something else.
“In the world of C-V2X, we are more focused on how to make driving scenarios more automated, especially in the cases of vulnerable users. Cameras alone cannot solve the detecting the two-wheeler problem, says Puvvala.
“We can combine all of these applications focusing on an edge type of service where we can aggregate the services. HARMAN does these through a 5G Edge, multi-access edge computing (MEC) and smart direct or virtual infrastructure solutions,” says Puvvala.
Verizon, Nissan, Honda and Mcity Show Real-Time Real-Life C-V2X
Verizon is a founding sponsor of the Mcity autonomous and connected vehicle test facility at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Verizon has created a dedicated team to help automakers understand and adapt 5G and C-V2x in a real-world environment, says Erik Varney, Managing Director, Industrial IoT and Automotive, Verizon Business.
Recently Verizon worked with Nissan to show proof of concept C-V2X tests for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to protect vulnerable road users, says Varney. He notes along with the technology for wireless radio communication Verizon supplies multi-access edge computing (MEC).
No More Dangerous Left Turns
Verizon and Nissan North America’s Research and Advanced Engineering team used C-V2X to connect vehicle-based and infrastructure-based sensors. The examples make left turns safer for drivers and pedestrians.
In an unprotected left turn example, a driver receives a warning when a car in the opposing lane is approaching that is not visible.
Another example is when a pedestrian is not visible in the perpendicular lane the driver receives a warning.
Watch Out That Car is Going to Run Through the Stop Light!
Verizon is working with Honda to communicate unexpected and invisible dangers on the road, says Varney.
Smart cameras mounted in the intersection relay information to MEC via the 5G network. Verizon’s MEC and V2X software communicate to the vehicles. The driver is alerted that an unseen pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
An emergency vehicle communicates to Verizon’s MEC and V2X software sends warning messages to nearby vehicles. When a vehicle is going to run the stoplight, surrounding vehicles are warned.
“Verizon 5G and MEC take the data available and process it real-time at the edge,” says Varney.
He adds C-V2X can warn other vehicles of unforeseen objects or obstacles in the road such as black ice or potholes. C-V2X may be used for teleoperation or when an autonomous vehicle needs help from outside the vehicle. Verizon is also supporting smartphone apps to identify pedestrians and warn pedestrians.
Honda recently announced that it plans to build ‘Safe and Sound Technology’ and standardise it by the end of the 2020s. Data from roadside cameras, onboard cameras and smartphones, will be aggregated in a server to reproduce that traffic environment in a virtual space.
Using road and user data, the system predicts and simulates the behaviours of road users at high risk of a collision. Then, to help avoid collisions, the system will provide relevant warnings to the road users.
Varney concludes, “We share the roads with all sorts of vehicles. It could be autonomous vehicles, bikes, e-scooters or last-mile delivery vehicles. We have to make it safe for all of those on the road. They have to be able to talk to each other and be aware of each other. The way we are going to do that is through the C-V2X and MEC. We want to make accidents a thing of the past with zero fatalities.”