The next big thing in connectivity is in vehicle communications, as indicated by a recent McKinsey study showing vehicle-to-everything – V2X – as one of the biggest slices of investments in the automotive industry.
Almost 18 billion dollar was spent on V2X
It’s the third largest amount after electrification and autonomous technologies. McKinsey doesn’t detail what counts as V2X connectivity, it certainly includes low latency direct V2X connections for safety and long-range 4G/5G connectivity as well. You can find the full McKinsey study here.
One thing is for sure: this money was well spent. Automation, the largest driver of investments cannot get past a point without short-range V2X connectivity. If we want to see fully self-driving cars, sharing the roads with conventional, human driven cars (which will certainly be so), communication between vehicles is essential. It needs an ultra low latency connection, when vehicles share information with other things around them, without having to go through the cellular network.
A small part of this peer-to-peer communication is the need to replace human gestures so that human drivers will understand the intentions of autonomous vehicles. Most of it is traffic safety and efficiency, for both human and algorithmic drivers.
V2X helps us recognize dangerous situations sooner, such as a stopped car on the shoulder of a road, reminds us to turn on the fog lights, and activates the emergency brakes to avoid a collision. Connecting with the roadside infrastructure allows vehicles to collect data from smart sensors and cameras deployed at intersections, and this gives drivers access to information from directions that the car’s sensors cannot see.
We can make life-saving decisions about invisible events
The amount of investment spent on v2x may be amazing, but it can also be said about the future it will realize.