Europe Suggests Minor V2X Role For 5G

European Commission safety rules published this week make it clear that 5G cellular technology could be playing a bit-part role in its V2X strategy.

TU-Automotive has learned from a commission insider that the rollout of its V2X infrastructure, as mentioned in the publication of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) safety regulations, will be based on DSRC and that while 5G may feature at some time in the future, it looks likely to take on a comparatively minor role. Our source said: “We confirm the C-ITS priority services defined in the Delegated Regulation use ITS-G5, also known as DSRC in the US, and not 5G infrastructure (which is not yet available). 5G is, however, expected to become part of C-ITS at some point, albeit for different C-ITS services. This is part of the so-called hybrid approach for communication technologies and is reflected in the review clause of the Delegated Regulation.”

Clearly this indicates mission-critical communications of V2X technology between vehicles and urban infrastructure will be handled by DSRC for the foreseeable future effectively closing the door on many telecom companies’ ambitions in this area in Europe. The confirmation came following the EC’s publication of C-ITS rules aimed at improving safety by enabling road users, traffic managers, and roadside infrastructure to exchange data in real time. It is hoped the technology would provide drivers with data on unseen nearby pedestrians, cyclists, traffic jams, and driving conditions. It requires infrastructure and vehicles to be equipped with C-ITS “stations” and the rules govern their safe installation and operation.

The rules call for “infrastructure and vehicle solutions … to be assured across the EU in order to reap the full benefits of C-ITS”. They also warn it could lead to “increased traffic demand … drivers experiencing information overload, or … greater cyber-security or privacy risks”.

Cars featuring the stations “are already on the road today, albeit in limited numbers”, the EC said. It expects more widespread deployment of them across infrastructure and vehicles later this year. It stressed C-ITS does not allow confidential data to be sent to other road users, it uses pseudonyms to identify drivers and vehicles, and adoption of it will be voluntary.

The CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium has been developing C-ITS for the EC since 2002. It says it plans to deploy the system using “short-range communications via Vehicular Ad-hoc Network in the 5.9 GHz band, using the European and US market standards ETSI ITS-G5 and IEEE 802.11p“. The EC says it will use “complementary technologies, offering different advantages: low latency for safety critical services, and high coverage using existing cellular networks”.

 


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