Ford, Panasonic, and Qualcomm are partnering up to carry out road tests in North America to test a new wireless feature for the company’s future vehicles. The technology will allow cars to connect automatically with other vehicles and communicate with one another on the go.
The companies are coordinating with the Department of Transport in Colorado. The partnership will test its cellular vehicle-to-everything or C-V2X technology in few areas starting with roadways in Panasonic’s CityNOW headquarters which is based out of Denver. Following this further testing will be carried out across Interstate 70 corridor which will be limited to selected areas and these tests will be carried out later this year.
In a statement by Colorado Department of Transportation, the organization has mentioned that they are in the process of fast-tracking these tests to get this technology production-ready as soon as possible. The organization’s interest in this technology spawns from its potential of enhancing the safety of future vehicles. The feature advances the car’s safety by using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure links. These links will also further improve the autonomous driving and smart city technologies. It is believed that the technology will be able to avoid traffic accidents and will warn the driver of pedestrians and hazards which go unnoticed. The feature will also be able to find parking spots and synchronize stop lights.
The C-V2X is not the first interface to enter communication segment in the automotive industry. In the car-to-car data sharing segment dedicated short-range Communications or DSRC also aims to provide data-sharing capabilities by using a Wi-Fi-based vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology.
Other companies like General Motors and Toyota have shown their support for dedicated short-range communications. The technology has already been deployed and is hailed as an affordable, proven and secure medium of car-to-car communication.
One example of DSRC application can be found on toll roads where data is shared wirelessly to the tolling station by the Fastpass dongle which is in the vehicles that pass the station. Other automakers who have joined Ford in developing this technology include the likes of Audi, Nissan, and several others.
This partnership is also working with text giant Qualcomm. The partners believe that the new C-V2X technology will be faster, more reliable and will have a longer range than DSRC. The technology also happens to be compatible with Uber’s upcoming fast 5G Networks. This network will also be used to support driver assistance systems like radar, cameras, and sensors.
Panasonic North America will partner with kibosh Kapsch TrafficCom, and Ficosa to provide roadside devices and C-V2X onboard devices to a Colorado Transportation Authority’s fleet which comprises of utility vehicles by Ford. The companies have also announced that the C-V2X data collected by connected vehicle data platform will be also be shared with traffic managers.