The Cellular V2X (C-V2X) is a 3GPP standard describing a technology to achieve the V2X requirements. C-V2X is an alternative to 802.11p, the IEEE specified standard for V2V and other forms of V2X communications.
Cellular V2X uses 3GPP standardised 4G LTE or 5G mobile cellular connectivity to send and receive signals from a vehicle to other vehicles, pedestrians or to fixed objects such as traffic lights in its surroundings. It commonly uses the 5.9 GHz frequency band to communicate – this being the officially designated intelligent transportation system (ITS) frequency in most countries. C-V2X can function without network assistance and has a range that exceeds a mile. In 2014, 3GPP Release 13 spurred studies to test the applicability of the then current standards to V2X. This resulted in the 3GPP Release 14 specifications for C-V2X communications, finalised in 2017. 3GPP Release 15 introduced 5G for V2N use-cases, and 3GPP Release 16 includes work on 5G NR direct communications for V2V/V2I.
C-V2X was developed within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), to replace the US promoted Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and the Europe originated Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) As such standards are decisive steps towards the target autonomous driving and clues to market influence, especially as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to propose the compulsory introduction of vehicle-to-everything technology off 2020 for all US vehicles.
In Europe, the EU announced in July 2019 that it was adopting a technology-neutral approach to C-ITS, leaving the way forward for 4G, 5G and other advanced technologies to be part of V2X applications and services.
The modes, Cellular V2X may be implemented, are:
Device-to-network i.e. Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) communication using the conventional cellular links to enable cloud services to be part of the end-to-end solution.
Device-to-device, which includes Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to road and infrastructure (V2I)  also including the use with toll systems and the direct communication and Vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) – also without use of network involvement for scheduling – for the protection of the most vulnerable road users, the pedestrians.
The Cellular V2X mode 4 communication relies on a distributed resource allocation scheme, namely sensing-based semipersistent scheduling which schedules radio resources in a stand-alone fashion in each user equipment (UE).
- Limited channels, This limit will affect especially metropolitan areas.
- Limited data rates, considering, that just one autonomous car will use 4,000GB of data per day.
- Wireless communication is susceptible to external influences, which may be hostile.
- In metropolitan areas, limits of data propagation due to surroundings such as buildings, tunnels and also Doppler effects, causing propagation speed reduction by repetitive transmissions required.
- The costs to provide a comprehensive appropriate network such as LTE or 5G are enormous.
In April 2019 test and verification of communication elements took place on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. Participants were Ford, Samsung, Vodafone, Huawei, LG Electronics and others. Topics were communication matters, especially interoperability, said to have been successful at 96%.
- twenty-five operators involved in trials of LTE- or 5G-based C-V2X technologies
- three 3GPP Release 14 compliant C-V2X chipsets
- eight pre-commercial and commercial automotive-grade modules supporting LTE or 5G for C-V2X from seven vendors
- sixteen C-V2X RSUs (Roadside Units) from 13 vendors
- fourteen C-V2X OBUs (Onboard Units) from 12 vendors
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