Qualcomm, Ford, and Panasonic have formed an alliance to deploy Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies for the first time in Colorado this summer as part of efforts to ensure that the connected vehicle system is safe to use prior to a wider rollout. The obvious aim of C-V2X is to help save lives since the vehicles equipped with this system will be able to sense and recognize pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles that are connected. Additionally, another application is to help self-driving vehicles optimize fuel efficiency and their overall operation.
The new trial deployment will take place in designated roadways throughout Panasonic’s CityNOW headquarters in Denver before the system will be rolled out in select locations along the I-70 Mountain Corridor area later this year. The tie-up builds upon Pansonic's existing partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). As part of the alliance, Panasonic has tapped the help of external companies such as Kapsch TrafficCom and Ficosa to assist in the deployment. Kapsch TrafficCom for its part will supply the roadside units to CDOT’s V2X development program and Ficosa will provide the C-V2X onboard units. CDOT will also incorporate C-V2X devices powered by Ficosa’s CarCom platform into its current fleet of Ford cars, enabling those vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructures. Panasonic's connected vehicle data platform will then work to transmit C-V2X data to roadway operators, which in turn will send safety information directly to vehicles. Qualcomm also recently said future C-V2X vehicles will be built with 5G in mind, which means those vehicles will be able to gain enhanced functionality once robust 5G networks are established in the future.
The chip-making giant and the auto manufacturer jointly announced C-V2X at CES 2018 in January with the goal of enabling vehicles to communicate with other vehicles, smart infrastructure, and cellular devices without the use of a cellular network or a network subscription. The system is intended to use the underlying cellular technologies for device-to-device communication instead of using an existing cellular network, which brings to mind the same communication standards for the Internet of Things category. Already, C-V2X has been going through initial trials in San Diego, California, and Detroit, Michigan. Qualcomm is also set to demonstrate C-V2X at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS-A) World Meeting set to take place in Detroit beginning on June 4 until June 7.