Audi of America, Qualcomm announce initial C-V2X deployment

Audi of America, Qualcomm announce initial C-V2X deployment
Technology News |
Along with consortium partners Qualcomm Technologies and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Audi of America has announced plans for initial deployments of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communication. Unlike the alternative DSRC technology, C-V2X allows V2X applications to be integrated into mobile networks. However, the C-V2X standardization of is not yet complete.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


The initial deployment takes place on select roadways in northern Virginia, employing advanced wireless communications to enhance vehicle safety by using the 5.9 GHz band. In line with the Federal Department of Transportation’s announcement to establish a First Responder Safety Pilot Program, the organizations’ combined efforts are designed to focus on improving safety for construction workers and motorists alike.  The deployment is expected to start in the third quarter of 2020.

Unique properties of basic C-V2X will be used to deliver work zone warnings on highways as well as signal timing information on approaches to signalized intersections on arterial roadways. In both cases, C-V2X communications can help deliver critical safety messages between vehicles and infrastructure with minimal latency, while less time-sensitive alerts are designed to be provided via C-V2X using the cellular network.

The initial deployments are aimed at expanding safety use cases in the vital connected vehicle safety spectrum established by the FCC, with the aim to curtail road hazards and fatalities.

This initial deployment is designed for connected car systems designed to boost safety around school buses, warn motorists about dangerous road conditions, alleviate congestion at traffic chokepoints, improve the performance of automated vehicles that are nearing commercialization and even potentially let cars communicate with mobile devices to send warnings that may one day help prevent pedestrian fatalities.

The northern Virginia initial deployment is designed to involve two primary use cases:

Work zone warnings, which the organizations feel is an important use case on highways, featuring a Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution via an in-vehicle display in Audi Q8 SUVs designed to deliver a graduated warning, with the last link being a low-latency, reliable warning to drivers of the workers’ physical presence.

On arterial roadways, the signal phase and timing (SpaT) from a traffic signal, will be transmitted with a Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution to Audi Q8 SUVs. These vehicles have the Audi Traffic Light Information (TLI) service that can provide drivers a countdown to the green light. C-V2X from the traffic signal can also provide direct information to the Audi Q8, which will be used by the TLI system to fine-tune the countdown information of the signal phase and timing.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) has been contracted to develop the software and systems necessary to support a number of use cases defined for the initial deployment. Following software development, the institute will then conduct a demonstration of C-V2X technology operating in these use cases.  

C-V2X Features and Benefits:

  • The C-V2X solution used in this initial deployment is based on third-generation partnership project (3GPP) Release 14 and Release 15 specifications. Direct communication of this solution uses 20 MHz from the 5.905 – 5.925 GHz ITS band, the same spectrum that the FCC has proposed allocating for C-V2X. 
  • A more advanced mode of C-V2X has an evolution path to 5G using 3GPP Release 16 specifications. 
  • Field test results issued by the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) have proven C-V2X to be an efficient and effective radio access technology, showing that it significantly increases in range and reliability compared to other radio technologies.
  • C-V2X commercial products are now widely available in the form of multiple chip platforms, wireless modules, vehicular Onboard Units and infrastructure Roadside Units.
  • C-V2X encompasses both direct short-range communications that operate in the 5.9GHz ITS band and longer-range network communications delivered by mobile network operators; chipsets now offer both direct and network connectivity in the same solution concurrently, aiding in the adoption of the technology.

The C-V2X deployment in Virginia, however, does not necessarily mean that the long-running debate on the V2X standard of choice is over. Audi’s parent company Volkswagen only recently started selling its volume vehicle Golf VIII, which comes standard with a V2X device based on the competing radio standard IEEE 802.11p. While the latter is much more mature and based on a well-defined standard, the newer C-V2X technology is not compatible. And according to industry sources, the C-V2X standardization is far from being complete. Therefore, it is possible that an introduction of C-V2X at large scale might be several years away.

Related articles:

Babylonian confusion in the V2X space?

Multistandard platforms combine V2X, 5G functionalities

Volkswagen to offer V2X in series production in 2019

Why 802.11p beats LTE and 5G for V2x

Demo proves interoperability between motorcycles, cars and infrastructure via C-V2X

Qualcomm integrates 5G, precision navigation, C-V2X, WiFi 6 into cars


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