A group of automotive, telecoms and tech companies announced plans to conduct the first field trials of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology in Japan to demonstrate the enhanced range, reliability and latency of direct communications using the 5GHz band.

In a joint statement, the six companies – Continental, Ericsson, Nissan, NTT Docomo, OKI and Qualcomm – said the objective is to validate the benefits of C-V2X using direct communication technology defined by 3GPP in its Release 14 specifications. The trials are also designed to show the complementary benefits of network-based communications using LTE-Advanced.

For the trials, Continental will use Qualcomm’s C-V2X reference design, which features its 9150 C-V2X chipset with integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capability, to build connected car systems and integrate them into Nissan vehicles.

Improved safety
Nakul Duggal, VP of product management at Qualcomm, said C-V2X, with its direct communications capabilities, is expected to be an important factor in enhancing safety and driver assistance.

“This Japan trial is a milestone in the global deployment of C-V2X technology which is expected to be featured in production vehicles by 2020,” he said.

Tetsuo Sasaki, GM of Nissan’s connected car and services engineering department, said the data made available by this real-world trial will enable the automaker to accelerate its development and offer new services in a timely manner once 5G technology is available.

Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden said: “The C-V2X solution is unique in that it offers both network-based and direct communication for V2X services. With the network-based communication, there is a possibility to provide traffic safety and traffic efficiency services utilising already existing coverage and penetration of cellular modems and smartphones. It also provides connectivity to various cloud-based services, providing a range of applications and value-added services.”

In November Qualcomm teamed with Nokia, Ford and AT&T in the US to trial cellular-V2X technology.

Ericsson and Docomo are also members of the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium, which was set up in August. Other companies in the group, focused on creating the network architecture to handle the deluge of data expected to be generated by connected cars, include Intel, NTT and Toyota.