V2X: A Vital Roadmap for Saving Lives

The promise of vehicle-to-everything communications (V2X) is gaining ground as tier 1 automotive manufacturers realize the potential of this innovative technology to save millions of lives and transform vehicle transportation. Today, however, multiple barriers need to be overcome before everyone can realize crucial safety benefits.

 I recently joined other V2X advocates on an informative webinar hosted by Strategy Analytics to explore how best to remove tough technical roadblocks. During a real-time poll, 44% of the webinar attendees ranked infrastructure and coverage challenges as the biggest barriers to success, followed by a range of issues, including lack of legislative mandates, standards and consumer awareness.

From my perspective, it’s critical to embrace technology that expands the “senses” and capabilities within and around the car. In doing so, we can improve how the vehicle communicates with pedestrians (V2P), to infrastructure (V2I) and other vehicles (V2V). The results provide the driver with information, such as real-time road conditions, which otherwise couldn’t be seen, predicted or even captured by camera or lidar systems.

Sadly, that was my reality five years ago when there was a death in my family from a car accident caused by black ice. We simply cannot wait for the Department of Transportation to post warnings—cars must be equipped with technology to connect and communicate with advanced infrastructure that relays instant warnings and life-saving notifications.

In addition to safety, V2X technology will enable vehicles to communicate with traffic lights and influence traffic patterns, which can dramatically improve traffic flow while reducing polluting emissions.

Industry Collaboration and Cooperation is Key

V2X cannot achieve major momentum without the full participation of major stakeholders from various industries. One of my fellow webinar speakers, Johannes Springer, CTO Connected Car for T-Systems International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, reinforced the need for increased collaboration between public authorities and wireless carriers to implement and integrate infrastructure upgrades. Increasing momentum of 5G networks also will prove invaluable in improving infrastructure capabilities.

Further collaboration is needed to drive consensus for the various technologies required for V2X, such as HP-GNSS, 802.11-based DSRC and C-V2X as well as a host of IVN sensors and processors. These technologies support three overarching elements of the V2X ecosystem:

  • Accurate street view: The use of different sensors (e.g., cameras, radar, lidar) and DSRC to communicate quickly and redundantly with other vehicles and nearby infrastructure elements.
  • Accurate vehicle positioning: Communication via HP-GNSS, L-Band and 5G with real-time correction services.
  • ASIL-level real-time correction: Permitting base stations to identify additional environmental factors that are hidden or impeded (C-V2X is used to communicate with base stations or satellites.) 

All of these pieces need come together for V2X to maximize vehicle awareness within its surroundings. To avoid accidents, we need clear and accurate assessments of what’s happening on the street as well as real-time updates to track changes in dynamic environments.

At the heart of what must be a multi-pronged effort is an understanding of the complex data being gathered by multiple sources and technologies. When asked the timeframe for when V2X technology would become standard, 50% of the webinar attendees believed it would occur within five-to-10 years. While this is encouraging, we need to do better. Lives are at stake, literally.

The good news is most automakers’ V2X plans and evaluations are accelerating as they are determining what the cars of the future will look like in that timeframe. At Molex, we’re doing our part to reduce technical hurdles while looking at how 5G and Automotive Ethernet can advance V2X adoption.

Molex is developing a portfolio of connected mobility solutions to take V2X technologies to the next level while removing technical obstacles. Innovative offerings, such as Cellular-/WiFi6-/DSRC-V2X antenna systems, mmWave antennas, high-precision GNSS connectivity devices, signal transceivers and other solutions are designed to improve the efficiency and performance of vehicle architecture.

Making these advancements a reality puts V2X in the fast lane toward its next destination: Seamless autonomous vehicles.

Learn more about Molex’s V2X connected mobility solutions at  www.molex.com/molex/industry/connected-mobility/v2x