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article imageFord partners with Qualcomm to build fully connected cars

By James Walker     Jan 10, 2018 in Technology
Ford has announced a partnership with Qualcomm to develop "C-V2X" tech to connect cars to their surroundings. Short for Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, the concept would allow vehicles to share information between themselves and city infrastructure.
Constant connectivity
For now, C-V2X is largely a vision for what future connected vehicles could look like. CNBC reports Ford intends to equip "all" its cars with C-V2X eventually, but currently few of the ideas are sufficiently developed to make the broader project work. C-V2X will allow cars to communicate in real-time with vehicles, traffic lights, street signs and the roads themselves.
The partners are approaching the project as a way to transform transport by improving safety and efficiency. A car equipped with C-V2X could automatically avoid accidents and traffic jams, react to changes in its environment and share its intentions with nearby vehicles. Everything connects using a cloud-based smart platform which will network city infrastructure with roads and vehicles.
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Technically, Qualcomm is using the 5.9GHz cellular band as the backbone of the project. The company intends C-V2X systems to feature 360-degree non-line-of-sight awareness, allowing them to watch and understand what's going on around them. Their findings can then be passed on to infrastructure components, such as traffic control systems, or communicated to following vehicles.
Ford and Qualcomm are preparing to launch a trial of the idea that will investigate how C-V2X can improve vehicle safety. The technology used in the test will be capable of assisting at intersections and issuing do not pass warnings to other road users. In addition, Nokia will provide improved vehicle communication functionality that includes real-time mapping and alerts for on-road incidents.
"Very encouraging"
Ford's already pushing aggressively towards connected cars and the development of C-V2X will bring its vision closer to reality. The company said the technology, if standardised, would exceed the requirements of draft government legislations. Ford and Qualcomm are approaching C-V2X as the start of an open transport communications platform used by every city and vehicle.
"The advancement of cellular technology for C-V2X applications is very encouraging," said Don Butler, Ford executive director of connected vehicle and services. "This technology promises to meet, and in some cases, exceed the performance requirements of vehicle communication being proposed by relevant government agencies while leveraging existing in-vehicle connectivity frameworks."
Qualcomm will use its 9150 platform to power the trial. It will be supported by AT&T's existing 4G LTE cellular service. The test will take place in San Diego, one of ten regions designated as an automated vehicle proving ground by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Widescale deployments of C-V2X would be based on next-generation 5G networks which offer improved bandwidth and lower latencies.
More about Ford, Qualcomm, autonomus vehicles, Automation, connectivity