Audi & partners form Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow consortium for 3GPP Rel. 14 Cellular-V2X trial
At CES 2017, Audi AG, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., SWARCO Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern announced the formation of the Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium to carry out the first Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) trial based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) Release 14, which includes Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication.
The trial efforts are expected to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communication, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) wide area communications. ConVeX will be executed by a cross-industry consortium that brings diverse expertise to the trial. ConVeX will be co-funded by the participating organizations and the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the scope of the “Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Fields in Germany” funding guidelines.
The 3GPP unites 7 telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC). The project covers cellular telecommunications network technologies, including radio access, the core transport network, and service capabilities—including work on codecs, security, quality of service—and thus provides complete system specifications. The specifications also provide hooks for non-radio access to the core network, and for interworking with Wi-Fi networks.
3GPP uses a system of parallel “Releases” which provide developers with a stable platform for the implementation of features at a given point and then allow for the addition of new functionality in subsequent Releases.
Release 13 was completed this year. Release 14, for which work is underway, is focusing on Mission critical enhancements, LTE support for V2X services, eLAA, 4-band Carrier Aggregation, inter-band Carrier Aggregation and more. (The first drop of “New Radio” features, in Release 15, will form the first Phase of 5G deployments.)
The goal of the ConVeX trial is to demonstrate the benefits of using a unified C-V2X connectivity platform, as defined by 3GPP Release 14, for the connected vehicle of tomorrow as well as to showcase C-V2X range, reliability and latency advantage for real-time V2X communications.
Additionally, the trial aims to highlight new use cases that help support traffic flow optimization, improve safety and pave the path to automated driving. ConVeX plans to use the results of the trial to inform regulators, provide important inputs to ongoing global standardization work and shape a path for further development and future evolution of V2X cellular technology, which includes an evolutionary transition towards 5G New Radio (NR), the new global standard for 5G being defined in 3GPP.
During the trial, ConVeX expects to establish a field test environment and conduct field tests to determine compelling C-V2X benefits by utilizing V2V/V2I/V2P direct communications with 4G/5G LTE-based vehicle-to-network (V2N) technology, evaluating radio communications, performance and user experience under real traffic conditions while leveraging upper layer stacks developed by the automotive industry in ETSI-ITS.
C-V2X Direct Communications operating on 5.9GHz ITS spectrum are then expected to be integrated into an Ericsson 5G test network covering highways, roads and cities in Germany.
V2X technologies continue to play a key role in advancing the vision of autonomous vehicles. While advancements in Radar, LiDAR, and camera systems bring automated driving a step closer to commercialization, these sensors are limited to line-of-sight (LOS) data collection. Sensor fusion with V2X is expected to complement those capabilities and provide 360 degree non-line-of-sight (NLOS) awareness, extending a vehicle’s ability to see and hear further down the road, even at blind intersections or in bad weather conditions. Combined with high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), V2X technologies are expected to allow vehicles to share information with each other, as well as with infrastructure, and to pedestrian smartphones.
Digitization will redefine the properties of the car. Connectivity and autonomous driving are two megatrends to shape tomorrow’s vehicles, but this transformation will go further. Data, cloud technology and new business models will be the major drivers of innovation and create an ecosystem around our core product. Therefore the key to success is cross-industry collaboration—and so we are very happy to work together in the ConVeX consortium on new solutions for our customers.—Alfons Pfaller, head of infotainment development, Audi AG