Connected vehicles are already part of our daily life. The importance of connectivity will raise in the near future. Mobile communications technology continuously evolves, opening a wide range of new possibilities for the automotive industry.
5G technology is a key element for a fully connected vehicle. The combination of long-range and short-range connectivity delivers the optimal setup for safety and better efficiency in traffic.
Drivers and passengers are expecting continuous connectivity, and mobile network coverage is key to the deployment of any initiative. In addition, road operators play a paramount role achieving the digitalization of roads. And vulnerable road uses such as cyclists, pedestrians, and others need to be included in all plans since they need also higher traffic safety and efficiency.
In times when collaboration is key in order to move forward at a faster pace, the C-V2X roadmap will help to make the fully connected cooperative in the vehicle industry a reality thanks to the collaboration between all industry partners. The 5G Automotive Association is leading this collaboration toward a successful roadmap for automotive connectivity.
With close to 200 million connected vehicles already on the roads worldwide in 2020, and a growing number of vehicles with the ability to exchange traffic and road condition information over cellular networks, the foundations for 5G-connected driving are well established.
The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) expects to see mass deployment of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) to improve traffic efficiency and road safety as soon as 2022 and 2023.
The 5GAA is a global, cross-industry organization of companies and OEMs from the automotive, technology, and telecommunications industries working together to develop end-to-end solutions for future mobility and transportation services.
Spectrum needs based on studies of C-V2X direct communications V2V/I/P (vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure/pedestrian
According to the latest 5GAA released whitepaper, A Visionary Roadmap for Advanced Driving, Connectivity Technologies and Radio Spectrum Needs, further progress in the coming years will pivot around 5G-V2X use cases for more efficient and safe driving.
The whitepaper highlights selected end-to-end V2X applications factoring in the necessary technological evolution, industry readiness, and spectrum needs.
5GAA has developed advanced driving use cases such as Cooperative Manoeuvres and Sensor Sharing in conjunction with both the adoption of Cellular Vehicle-To-Everything (C-V2X) standards and the availability of the required technologies and devices. These provide a tangible account of how advanced driving is taking shape globally.
According to Maxime Flament, 5GAA Chief Technology Officer, "success in this endeavour requires to have all industry stakeholders on-board, including telecoms and automotive. Only then will new business opportunities and necessary investments be secured to fuel this ecosystem."
Deployment of C-V2X use cases between 2020 and 2030
Between now and 2024, connected digital road infrastructure will pave the way for real-time or dynamic traffic updates, hazard warnings, and high-definition mapping services.
From 2025 onwards, 5GAA anticipates mass rollout of more advanced automated driving and safety use cases supported by vehicle connectivity. Additional automated driving functionalities are anticipated as from 2026.
Towards 2026, advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) cooperation will further boost automated driving developments, including sharing sensor data and cooperative manoeuvring.
To fully support this evolution, 5GAA calls on national and regional administrations to make sufficient radio spectrum available for mobile communication networks in targeted low- and mid-bands.
In addition, it recommends harmonized use of the 5855-5925 MHz band for communication between road users and roadside infrastructure within the wider international digital traffic ecosystem.
According to the whitepaper, some 5G-enabled applications may prove challenging to implement, while others will be easier and offer valuable lessons going forward: “Low-hanging fruit applications addressing OEM fleets, such as automated valet parking and tele-operated driving will open the door to more secure, safe, and interoperable vehicle-to-network automotive applications across borders.”
The 5G V2X roadmap to 2030
According to 5GAA, in order to deliver end-to-end V2X services and unlock the true value of vehicle connectivity, the realization of the roadmap would require:
Sufficient spectrum for short-range direct communications at 5.9 GHz
High levels of mobile network coverage along the roads
Sufficient service-agnostic mobile network spectrum for mobile network-based communications, in addition to the bands that are currently identified for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) use
The essence and great promise of 5G is that it makes better use of the radio spectrum, boosts mobile network coverage, security and safety, while delivering environmental benefits for citizens and consumers. For this reason, it is paramount for all players to work together on the realization of the common goal toward 2030.
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