Qualcomm expects C-V2X commercial rollouts in 2019, cites progress in China

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Qualcomm says C-V2X is ready for deployment in vehicles as early as next year. (Pixabay)

While calls to “rethink” the 5.9 GHz band are increasing in the U.S., Qualcomm Technologies says it’s clear that C-V2X is in the fast lane—including in China, where C-V2X is the technology of choice for China’s transportation system.

“With so many C-V2X announcements having occurred since this past June in the U.S., and then China and Europe, it’s fair to say that C-V2X is in the fast lane,” wrote Qualcomm’s Maged Zaki in a blog post.

In China, where C-V2X is also known as LTE-V2X, authorities are moving ahead vigorously with the technology to solve transportation challenges and improve road safety and traffic efficiency, including the recent allocation of spectrum for LTE-V2X technology. Additionally, the Chinese NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) identified a target C-V2X network coverage rate of 90% in 2020, he said.

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Qualcomm continues to work closely with mobile network operators there, including China Mobile, which announced the development of Roadside Units for LTE-V2X PC5 Direct Communication featuring the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution. Qualcomm was also part of a pilot project in September in which Groupe PSA showed the latest LTE-V2X technology in its Peugeot and Citroen cars equipped with the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution.  

RELATED: Qualcomm undeterred on road to C-V2X

In Europe this past summer, C-V2X communication interoperability was demonstrated between multiple automakers. In Germany, a demonstration was held to showcase Europe’s first live C-V2X direct communication interoperability between motorcycles, vehicles and infrastructure.  

RELATED: Qualcomm, Ford go big with plans to deploy C-V2X in Ford vehicles starting in 2018

In the U.S., Qualcomm has been working closely with Ford and other 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) members in multiple locations, including Washington, D.C., Michigan and California, to compare the radio performance of C-V2X and 802.11p-based Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technologies. Qualcomm, which has worked on both technologies, has said tests show C-V2X’s superior performance, including higher reliability, longer range in valuable NLoS (non-line of sight) conditions, robustness to interference, and congestion handling.

Zaki's remarks come as 5.9 GHz stakeholders are debating the future of that band, which was designated decades ago for the aforementioned DSRC for vehicle safety, and the technologies that will use it. In Colorado, for example, where Qualcomm is working with the state's Department of Transportation and Ford to deploy C-V2X, the state is using both DSRC and C-V2X so it's ready for whichever technology the market ends up going with. 

AT&T, also a member of the 5GAA, is working with Ford, Qualcomm and Nokia to use C-V2X technology along with its 4G LTE network, and eventually, 5G, to improve safety and traffic efficiency on the nation’s roadways, noted Chris Penrose, president of IoT Solutions at AT&T, in a recent blog post.

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With V2X, vehicles will be able to “see” around corners, in front and behind other vehicles—and at greater distances, eventually allowing vehicles to quickly make sense of their surrounding environment as well as the road ahead to help guide safe and efficient operations on the road.

AT&T is working with car manufacturers to put the pieces in place for totally automated cars that will make the roadways safer and more efficient and reduce traffic, he said, noting that 5G will open the door to new business models and new experiences.