US Will Lead in Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications – Study

More than 62 million vehicles will be capable of vehicle-to-vehicle communication by 2023 — a significant leap beyond the 1.1 million V2V connections expected in 2019 — according to a new analysis from analytics firm Juniper.

Juniper projected the rollouts of 5G networks, which are anticipated to launch next year, would be the key drivers of the expansion of V2V communications.

The report, “Consumer Connected Cars: Telematics, In-Vehicle Apps & Connected Car Commerce 2018-2023,” also predicted automotive OEMs would gravitate towards 5G for V2V communication over other technologies like C-V2X, owing to its lower latency and high range.

“We don’t anticipate any significant drawbacks to using 5G, however the onus to ensure maximum coverage and sufficient throughput from cellular base stations would be on the operators, which will initially be costly to roll out,” Sam Barker, senior analyst at Juniper, told TU-Automotive in an email.

He anticipates that the first areas where operators will roll out 5G basestations will be urban environments and major road networks.

“When you consider the speeds that vehicles can do on public roads, latency is the key network capability that will essentially eliminate the human aspect of the time it takes to bring a vehicle to stop,” he wrote. “Because of this, minimizing latency is crucial.”

Barker explained that to do this, network operators will offer “network slicing” to automotive OEMs, in which the 5G network will bring the lowest possible latency to automotive connections in order to maximize the efficiency of V2V over 5G networks.

The report projects the US would become the leading market for V2V deployments, and predicted more than 60% of new vehicles sold in the States would be V2V-capable by 2023.

The rollout of 5G could also spur 8.2 billion car-based transactions by 2023, which amounts to $265 billion worth of commercial transactions.

However, in order for the in-car payment market to grow, automakers will need to let third-party developers gain access to vehicle telematics.

“This will be achieved through APIs, where third parties can develop apps for the vehicle, Barker said. “This will be done in a similar fashion to how mobile operating systems by Apple and Google offer development kits to enable third parties to develop and distribute apps over their respective smartphone ecosystems.”

Meanwhile, BMW, Ericsson and Vodafone are warning European Union policymakers that an upcoming decision on wireless networks for connected cars could leave 5G behind — and Europe out of step.

A legislative proposal in the works at the European Commission rules out the use of C-V2X, a system that uses cellular technology for wireless communications among cars, roadway infrastructure and other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, according to a November 14 post on an Ericsson blog.

The law would identify only one system, called ITS-G5 and based on technology similar to WiFi, for so-called vehicle-to-everything (V2X) networks. Leaving out C-V2X would go against the EC’s pledge in 2016 to take a hybrid approach to the technologies, and it would be a serious mistake, the companies say.

“If this legislation were to come into effect, it would essentially negate all the safety benefits that 5G would bring to the automotive industry,” Barker explained. “A hybrid approach is essential to maximizing the benefits of V2V, and the wider V2X ecosystem.”

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter.

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