Vodafone Group latest to trial LTE-V technology

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Vodafone managers revealed the operator is pressing ahead with trials of vehicle-to-vehicle communication based on the emerging LTE-Vehicular mobile standard.

David Lister, Vodafone Group’s 5G research manager, and Bob Banks, R&D programme manager, announced that the operator has commenced trials of LTE-V2X technology in the UK, and that it plans to extend its programme of field tests to Germany in the future.

In a joint blog, the Vodafone Group managers explained that LTE-V2X is an extension of 4G technology that enables cars to “chat with each other” and also communicate with “roadside infrastructure” over long distances, compared to the “limited range” of on-board sensors currently used to provide safety features in vehicles.

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“We are currently driving the development of this new technology, known as LTE-V2X which means connecting vehicles (V) to everything (X),” the managers wrote, adding that the operator and its industry partners are developing the technology in conjunction with the 3GPP.

Vodafone is pressing ahead with plans to trial LTE-V2X technology in Germany following initial validation tests on a private test track in the UK.

The ability for vehicles to communicate with each other and also with roadside infrastructure is a key element in the ongoing development of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), which aim to improve road traffic safety by enabling vehicles to communicate key information to one another.

Here, the former Nokia navigation unit that was acquired by auto makers BMW, Daimler and VW/Audi, announced in October 2015 that it was ready to move forward with trials of an ITS programme following tests that proved the effectiveness of 4G technology as a bearer of traffic information.

Deutsche Telekom is also researching the potential of the LTE-Vehicular standard. In July 2016, the operator revealed it had teamed with Huawei, Audi, and Toyota to test how the technology could be used to deliver services covering road safety applications, traffic control services, and automated driving. The trials will feed into broader industry standardisation efforts, the operator stated.

For Vodafone, the LTE-V2X tests are also an important step in the development of 5G technology, the managers said. “By building these capabilities on the worldwide 4G standard we can ensure safe, reliable communications whilst making the most efficient use of radio spectrum and support a smooth transition to 5G,” they wrote.

In addition, the push to enable communication between vehicles and infrastructure “is an important step that will lead to full automation of cars after 2020,” the Vodafone managers stated.

For more:
- read this Vodafone blog

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