Connected vehicles are quickly gaining ground, primarily due to their cost-effectiveness and comfort they offer. However, only a few know about the potential of these vehicles to make driving safer and much more efficient by communicating directly with other vehicles, infrastructure, and the cloud.
Vehicle-to-Everything or V2X is a special vehicular interaction system that supports a seamless transfer of information between vehicles and vehicles and the infrastructure. This technology assists in the exchange of real-time traffic updates and other road hazard information to enhance road safety and traffic efficiency. In this article, we will talk about V2X in detail and understand the many benefits associated with this new technology.
What Is V2X Communication & How It Works?
As discussed above, V2X is a technology that enables vehicles to communicate with one another, with the infrastructure, and with other road users. The technology leverages wireless ad-hoc networks to communicate, thus assisting vehicles to enhance their situational awareness of people and objects in the environment.
The most vital function of the V2X system is to improve safety on road. It is a highly reliable sensor operating seamlessly in all environments to prevent hazardous accidents and collisions in unfavoring situations.
How V2X Works?
In a V2X system, the data is exchanged through vehicle sensors using high-bandwidth and high-reliability links. Every car has a sensor that sends data to each other as well as infrastructure, such as traffic lights, parking spaces, pedestrians, and more.
These V2X systems share information related to speed and other entities around the vehicle. This information enhances the driver’s awareness of things like road conditions, nearby accidents, approaching of emergency vehicles, road works notices, and activities of other drivers on the same route. It also intimates the drivers about any potential dangers and helps to diminish the likelihood of road accidents and injuries.
The technology also improves traffic efficiency by informing drivers about any upcoming traffic jams and suggesting alternative routes to reach their destination.
Much like other communication technologies, V2X, in recent years, has split into 2 varied camps based on varied technologies.
- DSRC, Dedicated Short Range Communication
- C-V2X, Cellular V2X
What Is DSRC Communication & How It Works?
DSRC is the original V2X standard that enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with the infrastructure via over-the-air messages compliant with the IEEE 802.11P standard. This links two V2X senders that are in close proximity to each other and enables them to communicate without necessitating any specific communication device. Such a capability makes DSRC ideal for less-developed areas.
Moving on, the DSRC standard provides information about toll payments and accident notices. It operates in short-range, i.e. under 1 kilometer, and runs in the unlicensed 5.9GHz band. One of the best things about this standard is that it is totally unaffected by weather conditions. Thus, even in times of rain, fog, or snow, it can easily scan the environment and deliver accurate information.
What Is C-V2X Communication & How It Works?
The Cellular V2X is an alternative to DSRC that uses LTE as the underlying technology. The Qualcomm and 5G Automotive Association greatly support the use of this technology.
One of the best benefits of using C-V2X is that it comes with operational modes that the users can choose from. The first mode is a low-latency Cellular-V2X Direct Communications over the PC5 interface, on the unlicensed 5.9GHz band. This mode is specially designed for exchanging active safety messages such as collision warnings and other short-range V2I, V2V, and V2P situations. This mode closely aligns with what is offered by the traditional DSRC standard.
The second mode takes place over the Uu interface on the regular band cellular network that is licensed. This mode is primarily used to manage V2N use cases, such as latency-tolerant safety notifications and infotainment, or traffic conditions. Because this mode does not leverage cellular connectivity, DSRC can only match it by forming ad hoc connections to roadside base stations.
As the V2X market gains momentum, the two contending technologies, i.e. DSRC and C-V2X compete for the attention of leading automakers and regulators. It is worth mentioning that lately, the impetus has swung in favor of C-V2X, with an increasing number of automakers, such as BMW, Ford, Audi, Jaguar, Geely, and Daimler supporting it.
Benefits Of V2X Communication Technology
V2X is an amazing technology that enables vehicles to communicate with their surroundings and each other across a distance of approximately one mile. Here are some noteworthy benefits that V2X technology has to offer.
1. Enhanced Traffic Safety
Every year, a large percentage of people die because of car accidents that place due to human negligence. V2X technology is a great way to bring down this number and reduce the number of road accidents. With V2X, things as small as an electronic emergency brake light can help to warn the nearby drivers that a particular vehicle is starting to brake. Also, V2X can easily and effectively identify road hazards or any vulnerable pedestrians. Smart cars can brake much before the human drivers react and also notify the vehicles behind them to lower their speed. All this can improve road safety significantly.
2. Time Saving
V2X technology is also beneficial in optimizing road traffic and decreasing traffic jamming. And this can be really time-saving for all. When cars communicate with traffic lights, road signs, and traffic management centers, they can easily determine the most congested areas and know the best route they must take to reach their destination. For instance, an exchange of data between a vehicle and traffic lights can help to find out the speed at which the vehicle must travel in order to catch the green light. This real-time information exchange helps to save time.
3. Cost Effective
With V2X technology in place, it is easier to build an efficient and safer transportation system that, in turn, will help to save money. According to several reports, blocked or jammed roads decrease productivity, create delays in supply chains, and surge the cost of doing business. But with V2X, vehicles can easily detect traffic jams and change the route in real-time. This, combined with simulation models to optimize routes can make transportation much more effective and organized.
4. Environmental Factors
Another one of the most significant benefits of V2X is that it decreases the environmental impact of transportation. For instance, with platooning, self-driving vehicles can follow each other with very little distance in between them. This not only leads to lesser fuel consumption but also fewer CO2 emissions.
5. Convenience Of Driving
V2X technology has made driving very comfortable as the drivers know well in advance what is otherwise beyond their line of sight. They can learn about traffic jams, congested areas, road hazards beforehand and act accordingly. This helps to make road travel much more safe, comfortable, and fun.
Although the Vehicle-to-Everything, V2X market is still in its nascent stages, several manufacturers have already started incorporating this technology. Vehicles, on the other hand, are also becoming smarter as they are coming with advanced systems that require minimal human participation. Consequently, the users stand the chance to benefit from safer journeys with reduced carbon emissions and optimized routes.
The full benefits of V2X systems will definitely take time to be realized for a vehicle to communicate with an infrastructure, that infrastructure must be equipped with V2X technology. Presently, most entities, such as traffic lights, parking spaces, and traditional vehicles do not have any V2X system that implies they cannot communicate with the vehicles already. However, V2X technology is being used in various automotive software & mobile apps.
As the V2X market expands, the technology will penetrate deeper, enabling seamless vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.