If a car is really 'autonomous,' why V2X?: Page 2 of 3

September 13, 2013 // By Junko Yoshida
If a car is really 'autonomous,' why V2X?
For most consumers, self-driving cars are still stuff of the future, despite Google's popular driverless car demo and its breathless coverage in some of the media's more gullible precincts. Many of us may not live long enough to be driven in one of those.

his blog posted earlier this year, wrote:

For V2X to really work it needs to be wide-scale and it is only truly effective if the take-up level is high (some suggest over 97%). To date there is little indication of how quickly this will happen but, for sure, it must be a long way off. Getting V2X technology into vehicles will be the biggest challenge. While it is possible that it could be mandated that new vehicles should be furnished with V2X technology, the challenge on how V2X should be installed in existing vehicles will remain for many years to come.

Fourth, there are too many other technologies available now, beyond Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) tech operating at the 5.9 GHz frequency based on 802.11p, whose mandate in a future car for V2V communication is being considered in the United States.

Strategy Analytics' Lanctot noted, there are "too many alternative paths to delivering comparable performance [to V2X] from sensor-based, telecom-based or WiFi-based technologies."

Lanctot added, "Most important likely and emerging alternatives are LTE Advanced -- which includes proximity communication between modules not requiring tower-only communication -- WiFi Direct, and both embedded modems and smartphone-based technologies." Further, "executives at both GM and Qualcomm have proposed handset deployment of DSRC technology, which may even enable pedestrian detection, though DSRC purists scoff at this."

The very notion of integrating DSRC into smartphones is interesting. It could even bypass the quandary of how to retrofit cars without DSRC.

Strategy Analytics' Riches told EE Times, "The smartphone is becoming ubiquitous amongst vehicle owners. When is the last time you took a drive without one?" He contends that leveraging the LTE platform could lead to a much more rapid rollout of V2X capabilities across the fleet.

Of course, there are critics who are worried about LTE's latency issues. Riches, while conceding the point, noted, "They may have a point for some highly time-critical situations --

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