Road safety with C-V2X – at a four-way ITS intersection, with no traffic signals
Car companies Audi, Ducati, and Ford have joined with California chip maker Qualcomm to prove the “maturity and potential” of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology by showing their vehicles navigating a crossroads by themselves.
The showcase at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas presented a “cooperative intersection” within an ‘intelligent transport system’ (ITS) mock-up, where the safety of the vehicles – variously, Audi and Ford motor cars, and a Ducati motorbike – was governed by their C-V2X links with other vehicles, pedestrians, and road infrastructure.
All vehicles were equipped with Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipsets, and guided towards a four-way intersection, featuring no conventional lights or signals. Between them, each vehicle negotiated its course, and shared non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions.
The quartet exhibited use-cases of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety scenarios.
The V2V use case featured the ‘intersection movement assist’ (IMA) scenario, where a vehicle is warned it is not safe to enter an intersection. IMA addresses angle collisions at intersections.
The V2P scenario exhibited how C-V2X can be used to protect vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. The V2I use case featured a so-called ‘work zone warning’ scenario, where the vehicle is warned to use caution because of road construction ahead.
Don Butler, executive director at Ford for connected vehicle platform, commented: “Imagine a person suddenly steps into the street from out of view and your vehicle stops because it was alerted by that person’s smartphone. This is just one example of how C-V2X can connect smart vehicles to a smart world.”
Anupam Malhotra, director of connected vehicles at Audi in the US said: “The four-way stop use case provides a glimpse of how cooperative driving will be possible with C-V2X in the future. Besides additional safety, C-V2X is designed to also improve comfort and efficiency, which can be applied to both current and future autonomous driving.”
Pierluigi Zampieri, manager of vehicle innovation at Ducati, said: “Advanced technologies can significantly improve the safety of motorcycle users. C-V2X communication is one of the key projects of the Ducati 2025 safety road map.”
The car market is broadly split between C-V2X and ‘dedicated short range communications’ (DSRC) technology. Audi and Ford are among prominent exponents of the former, along with Qualcomm, as a compliment in the ITS ecosystem to ‘advanced driver assistance system’ (ADAS) sensors such as radar, lidar, and camera systems.
“C-V2X is the only V2X alternative that provides a clear evolution path to 5G, in a backward compatible manner, and is designed to deliver reliable and consistent performance in realistic driving scenarios,” says Qualcomm.
Nakul Duggal, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm, said: “This new chapter in our longstanding relationships outlines our collective goal to realise the full potential of C-V2X as a global solution for next-generation vehicle connectivity, safety and autonomy.”
Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset was released in late 2017, and has since been integrated into various ITS infrastructure, defined variously as ‘roadside units’ (RSUs), ‘onboard units’ (OBUs), and traffic safety modules.