Deutsche Telekom, Huawei among those testing LTE-V for next-gen auto tech

If LTE is good enough for the Internet of Things (IoT), it should be good enough for new road safety applications and potentially Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, right? That's what a group of companies, including Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Huawei, are setting to find out in a series of field trials with automobile manufacturers in Europe.

Specifically, DT, Huawei, Toyota Motor Europe and Audi, along with other car makers, are testing LTE-Vehicular (LTE-V) as a potential enabler for road safety applications and traffic control services, as well as emerging automated driving usages. LTE-V is being specified within the European 3GPP project as part of Release 14.

The trials are being conducted on a section of the "digital A9 motorway test bed" near Ingolstadt, Germany.

According to a press release, the LTE-V variant of LTE is designed to meet automotive requirements for both V2V and V2I communication. It can address multiple application types ranging from connected vehicle safety applications, such as collision warning, pedestrian warning and more, to connected vehicle smart mobility applications for increased efficiency. 

Using test cars, the technology has to prove itself under various scenarios and environmental conditions encountered in real life for participants to evaluate its performance and feasibility for different future use cases and applications. Deutsche Telekom infrastructure has been specially equipped with LTE-V hardware from Huawei to support the trial scenarios. Audi AG, Toyota Motor Europe and other car manufacturers have equipped research cars with the LTE-V hardware developed by Huawei.

Based on what they learn, they will provide input into the standards specifications for LTE-V. The partners are also contributing to requirements for later releases of the 3GPP project, which will aim to enable a wide range of emerging use cases from connected and automated driving to new mobility services in the 5G era.

Here in the U.S., where auto makers and the Wi-Fi community are fighting over spectrum rules related to Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technologies, companies like Qualcomm Technologies (NASDAQ:QCOM) are driving the Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) work in 3GPP.

Qualcomm last month announced the Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform aimed at accelerating the adoption of advanced connectivity into the next generation of connected cars. The platform integrates wireless technologies, including 3G/4G LTE, GNSS, Wi-Fi, DSRC and Bluetooth, and allows automakers and their suppliers to explore, prototype and commercialize connectivity designs using modules and solutions based on Qualcomm's roadmap.

Qualcomm said it has shipped more than 340 million chips so far for products for over 20 automakers. Its Connected Car Reference Platform is expected to be available by the end of 2016. 

For more:
- see this ITS International post
- see this DT release

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