SEAT tests C-V2X on Spanish roads

A Spanish carmaker and telecoms provider have tested C-V2X technology on open roads for the first time, reports Paul Myles.

Telefónica and SEAT have teamed up to present the first case study by equipping both vehicle and road infrastructure with technology enabling the exchange of information using existing mobile networks in a real-world urban setting.

SEAT provided a modified Ateca able to issue connectivity alerts to the driver through the instrument panel. The initiative was also carried out in collaboration with FICOSA, which manufactured the C-V2X communication device in the car; SICE, the owner of the road infrastructure equipping intersection traffic lights with connectivity, and Nokia, which implemented a multi-access edge computing (MEC) server, the communication platform between the vehicle and the road infrastructure.
The two use cases of assisted driving presented in Segovia consisted of:
□ The vehicle receiving an alert from a traffic light when a pedestrian is crossing the road on a blind right-hand corner. In addition, if the driver signals their intent to turn by indicating right, the vehicle displays an alert on the instrument panel that there is a pedestrian crossing the road;
□ The vehicle receiving an alert from a traffic light when it is about to change to red. According to its location, speed and course, the vehicle decides whether it has enough time to cross the intersection. If not, a warning alert is displayed on the instrument panel so the driver can prepare for a controlled stop.

Both cases are based on the standard C-V2X protocol, used for the first time in Spain with this demonstrator. Telefónica’s manager of innovation, Mercedes Fernández, said: “The advantage of using C-V2X technology on top of the mobile network is that it provides vehicles with additional information about their surroundings and draws from the existing network without the need for specific implementations. Thanks to decreased levels of latency achieved by the improvements introduced in the LTE 4.9 network (pre 5G), we can now offer new cases of assisted driving. As the network develops and latencies diminish, use cases will advance towards cooperative as well as autonomous driving.”

SEAT digital officer Fabian Simmer added: “SEAT is accelerating its digital transformation and its commitment to becoming a benchmark in connected cars. The development of these initial cases of interaction between the car and 5G technology enables us to continue to make progress in our goal of offering drivers a more enjoyable and safer experience at the wheel.”

Álvaro Sanchez, director of Telefónica Spain’s account at Nokia, said: “Multi-access Edge Computing is a key element of the 5G architecture, providing processing resources close to where they are needed and thereby enabling near real-time responsiveness of applications. This is critical for use cases like assisted driving and further evolutionary steps, where fractions of a second make a big difference for traffic safety.”

This trial was carried out as part of the 5G Technological Cities project launched by Telefónica last January to turn Talavera de la Reina and Segovia into real 5G locations where both the technological implementation and use can be rolled out to highlight the capabilities of the new generation of mobile telephone technologies.

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