Autonomous vehicles rely on their communications systems to operate safely, reliably and efficiently. These communications systems come under the umbrella term V2X, or vehicle-to-everything, which has been a vital part of how modern vehicles have continued to evolve. But, regardless of how sophisticated these systems are, and the technology driving them continues to advance, what underpins them is their communications network. For this reason, 5G is crucial in the ongoing development and use of autonomous vehicles.
What does V2X involve?Vehicles must interact with other vehicles, pedestrians and their environment. They do this through connectivity. This connectivity comes from the interoperability of a vehicle’s own system with other systems external to it. The established standard for doing this is known as dedicated short range communications, or DSRC, which is a variant of Wi-Fi that is designed to work regardless of weather conditions or technical issues. In Europe, this is known as IEEE 802.11p. Now there is a competing standard, known as C-V2X, which stands for cellular V2X. This offers improved capacity, reliability and performance. Fundamental to both systems are high relative speeds, low latency and performance that is safety-critical. Therefore, while V2X offers advanced capabilities for autonomous vehicles, it also presents certain challenges.
What are the challenges to V2X?Vehicle-to-everything communication faces challenges on three fronts: