Qualcomm hooks up with city of Las Vegas on C-V2X deployment

Las Vegas
The trial will serve as the first public installation of C-V2X communication in Las Vegas. (Pixabay)

Just in time for CES 2019, the city of Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and Qualcomm Technologies announced the implementation of C-V2X vehicle communication technology in Las Vegas.

C-V2X-enabled roadside units (RSUs) will be installed along select roadways as part of a trial program to demonstrate the benefits of C-V2X technology as well as advance commercial deployment. The trial also serves as the first public installation of C-V2X in Las Vegas.

It’s a nice coup for Qualcomm as it seeks to further evangelize C-V2X for safer roadways. Although the company is also a player in the 802.11 space, it’s been a strong proponent for cellular-based roadside safety programs as opposed to the 802.11p-based Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems that some automobile manufacturers are pursuing. Qualcomm insists that C-V2X is the superior technology for performance and provides an evolutionary path to 5G.

“Building on the traction of C-V2X implementation in innovative cities across the world, Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to be working with the City of Las Vegas and the RTC to provide a foundational element for enhanced vehicle connectivity to create safety conscious and more efficient roadways,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, in a press release. “Working together is essential to bring about the full potential of C-V2X, which is to improve road safety while revolutionizing public transportation. This is why we are looking forward to playing a key role in establishing Las Vegas as a leading hub for autonomy and smart transportation technologies.”

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Vehicles equipped with C-V2X capabilities will use aftermarket on-board units (OBU) to demonstrate Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) use cases, including signal phase and timing and traffic messaging to vehicles. The trial will use Commsignia’s C-V2X RSUs and OBUs, the ITS-RS4-C and ITS-OB4-C respectively, both of which use the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution based on 3GPP Release 14 specifications.

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Qualcomm points out that C-V2X is designed to be globally compatible with 5G and complement other advanced driver assistance systems sensors, such as cameras, radar and light detection and radar. C-V2X direct communication mode is designed to offer vehicles low-latency communications for V2I, Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating on designated and harmonized 5.9 GHz ITS spectrum.

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Recent field test results show a significant range, reliability and performance advantage of C-V2X direct communications, with more than twice the range and improved reliability compared to 802.11p radio technology, according to Qualcomm.