Panasonic, Qualcomm and Ford deploy C-V2X vehicle communications in U.S.

Panasonic , Qualcomm and Ford have announced a collaboration to deploy Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies in Colorado. This is claimed to be the first U.S. deployment of C-V2X technology and is an extension of a previously announced partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Panasonic to integrate connected vehicle technology in the state of Colorado. Panasonic, Qualcomm Technologies and Ford have joined the advanced development efforts to help deploy the technology, and to assess C-V2X capabilities this summer on select roadways throughout Panasonic’s CityNOW headquarters in Denver, which will be followed by deployment in select areas along the I-70 Mountain Corridor later in the year.

Panasonic will work with Kapsch TrafficCom in CDOT’s V2X development program, in which Kapsch TrafficCom will provide roadside units (RSUs), as well as with Ficosa to provide C-V2X onboard units (OBUs). The transit authority’s existing fleet of Ford utility vehicles will be equipped with C-V2X devices utilizing Ficosa’s CarCom platform to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) direct communications. Panasonic’s connected vehicle data platform will collect and disseminate C-V2X data to provide roadway operators with improved situational awareness and a new ability to send safety critical information directly to vehicles.

C-V2X is claimed to provide a superior performance and evolutionary path to 5G, and to complement other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar and Light Detection and Radar (LIDAR). C-V2X direct communication mode is designed to offer vehicles low latency communications for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Roadside Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating on designated and harmonized 5.9 GHz ITS spectrum. Recent field test results apparently show a significant range, reliability, and performance advantage of C-V2X direct communications, with more than twice the range and improved reliability compared to 802.11p radio technology.

The consortium suggests that the direct communication technology is well-positioned to be the global solution for V2X communications, supporting advancements in wireless communication and new automotive applications needed for enhancements in safety, autonomous driving and traffic efficiency. With the ability of C-V2X direct communications to be integrated into an LTE-based telematics unit, C-V2X is also said to be cost-effective and gaining support in the automotive industry and broader transportation ecosystem. Global C-V2X field validations with car manufacturers, automotive ecosystem participants, and in cooperation with regional governments are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan, and the U.S., with industry deployment expected to take place as early as 2020.