Mar 2, 2021
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Imagine a future where vehicles are not only fully aware of their surroundings but can see around corners and predict potential accidents. That’s what drivers may start seeing as vehicles become even better equipped to communicate with each other and virtually everything around them. Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology will usher in new levels of safety and connectivity, taking vehicles a step closer to autonomy while creating a diverse ecosystem that will drive the future of smart transportation.
The first to have a national strategy for the Internet of Vehicles, China is leading the way in C-V2X deployments as its automakers are already launching vehicles with this critical technology. After issuing the “Smart Vehicles Innovation Development Strategy” in February 2020, China began mass producing smart vehicles equipped with C-V2X technology.
Nearly 90 cities have already partnered with local wireless network operators, deploying tens of thousands of roadside units (RSUs) to demonstrate intelligent highways and urban intelligent networked roads. C-V2X is expected to be included in approximately half of new cars in China by 2025, at which time China also plans to begin testing 5G NR-V2X technology as part of its long-term plan for a standard smart vehicle system. Though new technology deployments vary by region, other countries can use key takeaways from China’s ongoing efforts to develop safer transportation with C-V2X.
China’s national policy
Designed to support assisted driving, increased road safety and efficiency, and enhanced driver comfort, C-V2X is poised to transform the driving experience in China. Now upgraded to the national standard, the adoption of C-V2X is encouraging cross-industry collaboration within the automotive, transportation, public security, and communications industries.
In anticipation of LTE-V2X commercialization, China formed a special committee charged with managing overall direction for the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), including market readiness and the development of core technical standards for the access layer, network layer, message layer, and security. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also issued the "Administrative Regulations on the Use of 5905-5925MHz Spectrum for Direct Connected Communication on the Internet of Vehicles,” which established dedicated C-V2X spectrum with a total bandwidth of 20 MHz.
After 11 national ministries and commissions jointly approved the smart vehicle strategy in February 2020, "The Second Phase of Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System Vehicle Communication System Application Layer and Application Data Interaction Standard" entered the public comment phase in June 2020, defining 12 scenarios on day two of the application.
Even though 5G deployments have started in China, C-V2X and 5G will coexist for a while, gradually transitioning to a singular 5G NR-V2X. Planning of 5G-related standards and spectrum within the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and related standards committees has already begun.
Key takeaways from China’s C-V2X deployment
- Moving quickly on a national strategy is instrumental for early deployments. China formed a committee composed of more than 20 ministries to develop the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) in 2017 – the same year that 3GPP Release 14 officially began supporting LTE-V2X.
- Having a phased rollout allows for continuous improvement to China’s C-V2X technology.
- New vehicles are equipped with cellular connectivity
- Direct communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure using C-V2X in 5.9 GHz band, also known as PC5 (current)
- Advanced autonomous driving and intelligent transportation using C-V2X as a sensor that uses the high reliability and low latency of 5G networks (future)
- Creating new opportunities for the ecosystem drives collaboration and innovation.
- The China Society of Automotive Engineers (C-SAE) hosts an annual event to promote interoperability testing among auto OEMs, chipset vendors, module vendors, and application developers
- The China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) evaluates vehicles for safety and plans to introduce C-V2X as part of its rating system by 2024
Ecosystem rallies behind C-V2X
Activities at C-SAE’s four-layer IoT event in 2020 demonstrate China’s commitment to continuously innovating and improving C-V2X technology. To promote interoperability among the ecosystem, the event focused on:
- Increasing the application of high-definition maps and high-precision positioning technologies
- Large-scale functionality and performance testing using 180 on-board and roadside units
- New security certification format for trusted cross-vendor communications
- New cloud control platform
- Demonstrations of contextually relevant information supported by C-V2X
Developing intelligent networked vehicles is a key aspect of China’s strategy for transforming and upgrading its automotive industry. Automakers and suppliers are seeing firsthand how the latest generation of wireless technologies is transforming the world’s largest car market and have embraced C-V2X direct communication (PC5) as part of the evolution.
Qualcomm Technologies is committed to assisting the continuous development of China's auto industry through technological innovation and a rich product portfolio. Since releasing our first C-V2X chipset in 2017, Qualcomm Technologies has completed multi-chip testing to ensure interoperability with other chipset providers and started supporting the successful commercialization of C-V2X technology in 2019.
Qualcomm Technologies is proud to be part of China’s vision for automotive safety, intelligence, and connectivity and looks forward to working with the automotive ecosystem in China to drive the future of smart transportation. Future deployments around the globe will benefit from lessons learned through China’s pioneering efforts to connect vehicles and roadside infrastructure nationwide.