Despite the ongoing debate between C-V2X and 802.11p/DSRC and regulatory challenges, analysts at SNS Telecom & IT predict that by the end of 2022, V2X will amount to a market worth $1.2 billion, with an installed base of nearly 6 million V2X-equipped vehicles worldwide.
In fact, global spending on V2X communications technology is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 170% between 2019 and 2022, according to their latest report.
Asked if they think the U.S. market ultimately will need to decide between C-V2X and 802.11p, they noted that despite the commercial maturity of 802.11p, momentum has lately swung in favor of C-V2X with a number of demonstrations and field trials—supported by the cellular industry as well as a growing number of automakers including Ford, Daimler, BMW, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover.
In fact, even early adopters of 802.11p—most notably General Motors (GM)—have expressed a willingness to invest in C-V2X technology. Nonetheless, staunch DSRC proponents such as Toyota are pushing ahead with their plans to roll out 802.11p.
“With the market visibly divided, we definitely expect to see products and solutions that accommodate both technologies in the coming years,” the SNS analysts told FierceWirelessTech. However, in the interest of ensuring interoperability between different automakers—particularly for safety-critical Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) applications, “it is very likely that the U.S. market will eventually need to choose a single technology" as done by other regions.
The Chinese government is backing C-V2X, while Europe is leaning towards 802.11p through its recently published delegated act on C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems).
“We predict that the FCC will grant the 5GAA's waiver request to allow the deployment of C-V2X in the 5.9 GHz band,” SNS said in response to questions via email. “This will give automakers and other stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate and compare the benefits and performance of both technologies in real-world environments, and consequently help the U.S. Government to appropriately decide which V2X technology is the best path forward − we expect to see a mandate in the early 2020s.”
An important point to note here is that future evolution paths exist for both 802.11p and C-V2X technologies in the form of IEEE 802.11bd and 5G NR-V2X standards, respectively, they added.
The report also pointed out that the globally harmonized 5.9 GHz band continues to remain the preferred spectrum for V2X communications technology, with the exception of Japan, where the national regulator has allocated a single 9 MHz channel in the frequency range 755.5–764.5 MHz for safety-related applications based on V2V and V2I communications.
Early discussions are ongoing for the potential use of new bands, most notably in the 3.4-3.8 GHz and 5.9-7.2 GHz frequency ranges, as well as millimeter wave spectrum for Line-of-Sight (LOS) and high data rate V2X applications, the report said. Recent field trials using 39 GHz spectrum in the United States have demonstrated that millimeter propagations for V2V communications can work well in the distance range of 100 meters without advanced beamforming techniques.