Welcome C-V2X, farewell DSRC in the US!

Only 30 MHz left for vehicle communications.

It’s much less than the original 75 MHz, and the ITS industry would surely be more pleased with a wider spectrum.

The FCC also took care of the rivalry between the long-known Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) and the relatively newcomer C-V2X. Vehicles and road infrastructure must use C-V2X in the future.

With the fact that DSRC is (almost) dead in the water, at least in the US, we can’t help but remember what happened before on the mobile operators’ market, when GSM and CDMA competed. Both technologies had their advantages, but lack of interoperability harmed customers’ interests. The introduction of 4G united the cellular market under a single technology, and also set the track for upgrading to 5G. Spectrum may come and go, but industries adapt.

It’s literally the 5G moment of V2X.

Moving forward with C-V2X removes the uncertainty on the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) market, and we believe that it’ll speed up V2X deployments in the US. We’ve prepared for the change, offering dual mode and C-V2X gears since 2019, and we’re ready to help our partners in transitioning to the narrowed band with this technology.

The new US administration is still being formed, but preliminary statements suggest that environmental protection will play an important role for the new Cabinet. It offers a great opportunity for the whole ITS ecosystem to shift to a higher gear. Air pollution can be reduced by increasing the efficiency of transport, and this is one of the goals of road operators and city planners with V2X installations.

As 4G wireless propelled the US economy by spurring investment and creating millions of jobs, so can C-V2X change the trajectory of the transportation business, and offer a more sustainable, environment-friendly way of delivering goods.

Green light for safety on Virginia roads

Imagine yourself in your car. Do you feel the comfortable seat, the refreshing air conditioning, hear that great sound system? Now imagine yourself driving in the morning traffic, trying to catch every single green light to get there in time, avoiding road works on the way.

Different image, huh? 

This is exactly where high tech safety features such as vehicle communications come into the picture, to calm our nerves and increase our confidence behind the steering wheel. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology means that cars talk with each other and with the infrastructure around them using standardized digital messages to help us get through the traffic as safely as possible. 

One of the great features of this technology helps us with the traffic lights. I like to drive smoothly, like flowing water in the riverbed, so I tried to memorize the timing of the traffic lights in my area, but the situation is just too random for this. Not to mention unfamiliar roads on which this approach doesn’t work at all.

The V2X deployment set up by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), partnering with Commsignia, Audi, Traffic Technology Services, Qualcomm and American Tower Corp, provides a solution to catch those green lights. 

Commsignia’s roadside units are transmitting green light information using cellular V2X (C-V2X) communication technology in a standardized Time To Green message, so we can see a countdown to the green light. Audi Q8 SUVs already have this kind of Traffic Light Information service, but the cars used in the trial were retrofitted with C-V2X onboard units to increase the level of safety. 

C-V2X messages warn of oncoming red light violations which allows us to react quickly, before we get into a messed up situation.

Another way V2X can help is when lanes are closed due to road works. This is most risky for workers, countless fatal accidents happening every year. C-V2X-enabled vests warned staff in the work zone with sound and light alarms of the V2X-enabled Audi Q8s passing nearby, and a notification also appeared in the vehicles, saying: Drive carefully! 

We’re looking forward to many more deployments like this on the roads to have a safe and smooth drive everywhere. Now tell us, is it a better picture of how you want to imagine yourself in a car?

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