Israeli startup Autotalks said it’s gaining momentum in the Chinese market following the successful completion of a C-V2X field test with an unnamed Chinese technology giant.
Other field tests have been done before; what’s special about this one is it was conducted mid-day in real traffic on a public road in China, according to Yaniv Sulkes, vice president of business development and marketing at Autotalks.
C-V2X is still relatively new—the standards were finalized last year—and most tests typically are done in neutral environments. “We proved that in real traffic conditions in China, we can achieve very reliable and long-range C-V2X communication,” he told FierceWirelessTech.
In this test, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) was the main focus, with the vehicle communicating with a traffic light when it was more than a mile away. That’s important in an autonomous vehicle scenario in particular because there needs to be a reliable communication between the vehicle and the infrastructure—in this case, a traffic light.
It’s also significant in that Autotalks' chipsets support both 3GPP Release 14 and 15, and this test involved both, according to Sulkes. Release 16 is expected to be completed later this year, and will define the next generation of C-V2X.
“We’re very excited to see the results” in non-sterile conditions," he said. “This is what we do. We don’t do anything else and we would love to see this technology get deployed sooner rather than later and start saving lives on the road.”
Autotalks is in the relatively rare position to be able to support both Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) and C-V2X, the latter of which isn’t mandated, but is preferred by the government in China. The company started concentrating on China about six months ago, and it’s now in a position of hiring more staff and expanding its presence there, Sulkes said.
In the U.S., there’s a battle over the 5.9 GHz band, where members of the Wi-Fi community would like to see spectrum dedicated for unlicensed wireless, but 75 MHz is allocated for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). That ITS allocation was supposed to foster the development of DSRC, but not much happened for a couple of decades. Now, there’s a division, as part of the auto industry is pursuing DSRC commercialization, and others are dedicated to C-V2X.
The 5.9 GHz band is already globally harmonized in most regions of the world for automotive use, Sulkes said. In China, there’s 20 MHz allocated in the 5.9 GHz band, and that’s what Autotalks used in its field test.
Because Autotalks can support both DSRC and C-V2X on the same chipset, it stands to win regardless of which technology dominates. But, Sulkes said the ideal is for a single standard in a given geography. The two standards are not interoperable, and since vehicles will need to talk to one another, it’s important that they’re talking the same language, but it isn’t as critical in his view to have the same language used throughout the world.