OnQ Blog

C-V2X momentum and the future of smart mobility

C-V2X, encompassing both direct and network-based communications, delivers for improved safety, traffic efficiency, and support for automated vehicles.

Jan 7, 2020

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, or C-V2X, continues to notch important gains as the preferred technology for vehicles to communicate with one another and with their surroundings. Through its acceptance in standards, string of successful trials, and initial commercialization, C-V2X shows growing promise for greater road safety and mobility, and is important for the assistance of non-line-of-sight sensors for autonomous vehicles.

Here’s a look at the increasing momentum around the standards, maturity, and trials involving this technology.

Standards completion and maturity of C-V2X

C-V2X is designed for the most important use cases of connecting vehicles to nearly everything around them:

  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V)
  • Vehicle-to-(roadside) Infrastructure (V2I)
  • Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P)
  • Vehicle-to-Network (cloud) (V2N)

It facilitates direct communication without relying on network coverage or a cellular subscription. In radio standards that underpin commercial deployment, C-V2X was first defined as part of 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 14, then Rel-15 and Rel-16 5G NR. It builds upon the legacy of safety and mobility standards that had initially used the much older radio as defined in IEEE 802.11p.

The technological maturity of C-V2X has won over automakers (OEMs), including Ford in the U.S. and most vehicle OEMs in China, and the communication is both secure and authenticated. Road operators in those countries have also started to deploy C-V2X roadside units (RSUs). Global regions are aligning their connected-vehicle efforts with the baseline IEEE 1609.2 security services standard.

Within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has emphasized its position of technology neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed 20 MHz for C-V2X in their recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, potentially clearing the regulatory path for C-V2X in the U.S. These actions bode well for the 130+ member 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) that includes leading global automakers, telecom companies, and their respective ecosystems.

Thus, all standards are in place and ready.

Global field testing and early deployments

Extensive laboratory and field tests — followed by initial deployments of C-V2X — have been underway around the world since 2017, bringing greater clarity about how the technology is expected to look and work once deployed. From early activity, the ConVeX trial in Germany announced in January 2017 to the first live demonstration (emergency vehicle) at CES in January 2018, and through the most recent C-SAE C-V2X 4-layer interop test (security) in China in November 2019, Qualcomm Technologies has collaborated with global automotive leaders to extensively test and showcase the advantages and capabilities of C-V2X. Participating automakers that are publicly known have included Audi, BMW, FCA, Ford, Nissan, PSA, SEAT, and many more indirectly or privately supported, including numerous Chinese domestic and joint-venture automakers.

The Crash Avoidance Metrics Partners LLC (CAMP) has sponsored the Cellular V2X Device-to-Device Communication Project for over a year – with the goal of providing a rigorous and objective evaluation of the technology — having been setup two decades ago to evaluate V2X using IEEE 802.11p. The evaluation included how the technology performs in the field and at scale, where channel congestion issues can be problematic to any radio technology. CAMP, originally formed by Ford Motor Company and General Motors, provides a framework for crash-avoidance research aimed at improving auto safety. For C-V2X, CAMP developed test procedures, conducted testing, assessed performance, and is documenting the results, which have already been released to SAE International to support and inform V2V standardization. In addition to Ford and GM, Hyundai, Nissan, and Qualcomm Technologies were involved with CAMP’s C-V2X testing.

Growing ecosystem

With encouraging results from ongoing trials, C-V2X has been tested and is ready for commercial deployment through a community of suppliers at each stage of the global C-V2X ecosystem:

  • On the infrastructure side of the ecosystem, more than a dozen RSU vendors around the globe have products in their portfolio that are built around those modules. RSUs based on Qualcomm MDM9150 are being commercialized. Moreover, other Qualcomm Technologies’ products will be available in 2020 for future RSUs, such as next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 4G Platform and Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform (SA415M, SA515M), and the C-V2X Application processor (SA2150P).
  • Several Qualcomm products have been ready for commercialization in C-V2X roadside units since early 2019, including Qualcomm 9150, SA415M, SA515M and now the C-V2X SA2150 Platform.
  • On the vehicle side, more than ten Tier 1 suppliers and aftermarket on-board unit (OBU) vendors worldwide are also market ready.
  • System integrators, such as Sasken and Thundersoft, support deployment with operations that span the globe.
  • Looking forward on the vehicle and infrastructure side, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 4G Platform and 5G Platform have concurrent C-V2X direct and network-based communications connectivity (with SA415M delivering LTE wide area communication and SA515M delivering sub-6 GHz 5G communication). The short-range communication, in conjunction with the C-V2X SA2150 Platform application processor, offers the full suite of C-V2X, LTE, and 5G connectivity, plus important processing power for security certificate verification and V2X applications – all in one Qualcomm Technologies reference solution. 

C-V2X vehicles in China debut in 2020

While many regions are in various stages C-V2X deployment, China is an example of a mature C-V2X ecosystem built on the Qualcomm Technologies chipsets with a value chain of module vendors, RSU vendors, Tier 1 suppliers, and OEMs. Since 2018, the technology has also enjoyed strong support among Chinese vehicle manufactures, road operators, and regulators.

What’s next for C-V2X?

To learn more about the Qualcomm 9150, 4G Wireless, 5G Wireless C-V2X chipsets, and the C-V2X Platform that includes the SA2150 application processor — and how our breakthrough automotive technologies are transforming the way the world connects — we’ve assembled a collection of white papers, reports, and documents on C-V2X, along with links to our wireless technology newsletter.

Plus, be sure to stop by the Qualcomm Technologies booth 5606, LVCC, North Hall, at CES 2020 to ask questions about C-V2X and the future of the connected car.

Qualcomm products mentions here, including the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X Chipset, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Platform, are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Alok Sharma

Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies