Automotive-telecoms consortium claims successful completion of intelligent transportation project

Test results show new automotive technology is a reliable and high-performing solution, say partners

Audi, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Swarco Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern have announced what they call the successful completion of the world’s first connected vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) trial looking at complementary technologies for connected vehicles and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). 

Initiated in December 2016, the trial used a test bed and field tests based on Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) C-V2X technology. The tests were designed to provide further evidence of the complementary nature of short-range direct and cellular wide-range communication with C-V2X and achieved results demonstrating the reliability and performance of the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology.

Since the organisations formed the Connected Vehicle-to-Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium in December 2016, they have completed and analysed end-to-end implementation and performance testing in realistic driving conditions.

During the project, ConVeX, which is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, tested and demonstrated several use cases for C-V2X, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) direct communication operating in the 5.9GHz ITS frequencies, as well as vehicle-to-network (V2N) wide area communication. For these tests, Audi vehicles and Swarco’s intelligent road infrastructure were equipped with C-V2X technology based on the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X platform.

ConVeX investigated the reliability, range and performance of C-V2X direct communication using 5.9GHz between vehicles and with infrastructure at varying speeds. Tests were also conducted in urban conditions with completely “blind” intersections and showed at least 140m range with safety messages delivered at 100% reliability for the V2V communication, which, said the consortium, underlines the high effectiveness of C-V2X direct communication over multiple use cases, for example intersection movement assist, left-turn assist and forward collision warning.

The test was conducted with relative vehicle speeds of up to 430km/h between two vehicles traveling in opposite directions. The tests were conducted at two locations on the German A9 and A6 motorways. In parallel to real-world tests, extensive simulations were conducted by the Technical University of Kaiserslautern to corroborate the very good field performance of C-V2X. 

V2N testing used an Ericsson network supporting 5G concepts such as network slicing and geo-casting for use cases such as hazardous icy road alert. Thanks to the characteristics of 5G cellular networks, traffic information is consistently delivered with low latency and high reliability over arbitrarily long ranges that are determined by the application needs, rather than by communication capabilities.

Among the detailed project results revealed from the trial, the consortium said it discovered that testing delivered 100% reliable reception of safety messages in line-of-sight conditions of up to 1.2km, with the distance limited by the length of the test roads. ConVeX also said the trial demonstrated the reliability, range and performance of the communication technology with the world’s first cross-border demonstration for C-V2X direct communication between vehicles and with infrastructure across the three trans-European borders, which included France, Luxembourg and Germany.

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Jens Kötz, head of electrics, electronics networking and energy systems at Audi, said the project has enabled a true test of the technology under challenging real-world conditions. “We have already connected the Audi fleet with traffic lights in cities and now we look ahead as C-V2X will dramatically boost road safety and efficiency in our cities,” he added.

“It is now important to define the interfaces and standards at an early stage – together with relevant stakeholders. This is of crucial importance to obtain an exact coordinate system in order to tailor further assistance systems for connected vehicles.” 

Enrico Salvatori, senior vice-president and president of Qualcomm Europe, said: “This successful C-V2X project serves as another step in the right direction towards our vision for smart transportation – helping advance the day for fewer accidents, less congestion and overall greener mobility.

“With a strong evolution path in 3GPP to 5G V2X, Qualcomm Technologies continues to invest and support the development of the C-V2X roadmap to offer new and supporting capabilities including automated vehicles.”

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