Ford, Verizon latest members to join 5G Auto Association

Ford (Ford)
Ford sees 5GAA as a key enabler to the development of a sustainable connected vehicle ecosystem. (Image: Ford)

They said more operators were expected to follow, and they did, with Verizon being the latest announced operator to join the 5G Auto Association (5GAA), which is working to advance cellular vehicle to everything connectivity, also known as C-V2X.

Vodafone Group joined in October, followed by Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom. Other new members announced this week are Ford, LG, Denso and Gemalto.

The new members come just as the U.S. Department of Transportation decided to move forward with rival technology based on dedicated short range communications (DSRC). The DOT this week issued a proposed rule, now open for public comment, to advance the deployment of DSRC-based connected vehicle technologies throughout the U.S. light vehicle fleet.

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While the 5GAA’s press release (PDF) didn’t mention that precise move, new member Denso said it considers its membership in 5GAA a complement to its long-term ongoing global support of 700 MHz/5.9 GHz V2X safety communication. “5GAA provides the environment for the cross-industry collaboration required to define corresponding future mobile communication systems,” Denso CTO for the European region, Masato (Max) Nakagawa, said in the release. “In collaboration with the 5GAA partners we plan to explore, define and develop multi-spectral connectivity to support future mobility demands, especially in the area of connected and automated driving.”

The 5GAA was established in September with founding members Audi, BMW Group, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm. Nokia’s Thierry Klein, vice chairman of the 5G Automotive Association, told FierceWirelessTech back then that the association would look at all technologies that are needed to provide end-to-end solutions to effectively address the use cases for connected mobility, connected infotainment, automated driving and intelligent transportation solutions. “As such it is technology-neutral from the beginning, but it is clear that we expect cellular technologies to play an important role and C-V2X will be a focus area,” Klien said.

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A recently published white paper (PDF) from 5GAA elaborates on why Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) technology at the radio level is an essential enabler to connected transportation services throughout the world. The 5GAA perspective is that 3GPP-based cellular technology offers superior performance and a more futureproof radio access than IEEE 802.11p and can leverage ETSI-ITS, ISO, SAE and IEEE upper layer standards and tests that have been refined by the automotive industry and others in the ITS community for over a decade.

While C-V2X direct services technically can coexist in adjacent channels with IEEE 802.11p-based radio access, one of the main advantages of cellular is that it can address all V2X applications in an end-to-end manner with the same technology and is therefore scalable and evolvable, the white paper states. In addition, as part of the 3GPP standards family, C-V2X offers an evolution path from LTE to 5G, which is why C-V2X (i.e. 3GPP cellular for all V2X) is a better choice than any hybrid “solution” that incorporates IEEE 802.11p-based technology, according to 5GAA.