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Auto ShowsSampling Qualcomm's C-V2X tech in an Audi Q8 at CES 2019

22:15  08 january  2019
22:15  08 january  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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Qualcomm ' s demo consisted of riding in an Audi Q 8 around an artificial "city" course laid out in a parking lot. In the Q 8 , an on-screen prompt warns the driver when they're approaching an intersection and advises them to stop. Then, behind the scenes, the C - V 2 X tech communicates with other

The Qualcomm ® C - V 2 X Reference Design will include the Qualcomm ® 9150 C - V 2 X chipset with integrated GNSS capabilities for accurate positioning, an application processor running the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) V 2 X stack, and a Hardware Security Module (HSM) that’ s designed to

Sampling Qualcomm's C-V2X tech in an Audi Q8 at CES 2019© CNET

The Audi was specifically modified to show these warnings for the demonstration.

Automakers have been talking about enabling cars to communicate with one another for years, but Qualcomm is now perhaps better poised than ever to actually put the tech into practice. While you won't see it in your new car just yet, I had a chance to try out Qualcomm's C-V2X technology during CES 2019.

C-V2X stands for "cellular vehicle to X," meaning that cars can communicate with not just other cars, but also things like motorcycles, traffic signals and, potentially, even bicycles and pedestrians. Qualcomm's demo consisted of riding in an Audi Q8 around an artificial "city" course laid out in a parking lot. The crux of the challenge was to have four vehicles approach a four-way stop at once: Which car goes first?

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Qualcomm ' s CES 2019 presence is all about the connected car. In addition to a big announcement with Ford, the chipmaker is about to test its tech The former part of that, signal phase and timing, has already been demonstrated in Las Vegas; Audi 's Traffic Light Information system has been running in

In the Q8, an on-screen prompt warns the driver when they're approaching an intersection and advises them to stop. Then, behind the scenes, the C-V2X tech communicates with other vehicles to negotiate which car goes first. For instance, if two opposing cars are both going straight, they can drive away immediately -- whereas someone turning left would be prompted to stop. That will ease traffic congestion with human-driven cars and, of course, would be a boon for autonomous cars.

There are also safety applications. When the rider of a Ducati motorcycle (deliberately) blows the stop sign, the Audi Q8 displays a warning about oncoming traffic. That could prevent accidents before in-car sensors detect a hazard. There's also functionality to warn if a car ahead is braking hard. Even if the car is ahead of a truck, for instance, the following car would receive a warning of the impending stop. Qualcomm's demo even has a setup to keep people safer when they're not in a car. A crosswalk sign transmits a warning over the C-V2X network, prompting the Audi to warn of a pedestrian ahead.

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In the Qualcomm Technologies C - V 2 X demonstration, we showed how C - V 2 X can provide a safe and efficient path for emergency vehicles by working with At CES , we showed a simulated demo for the trajectory/intention sharing use case for autonomous driving. This demo shows how 5G NR-based

Sampling Qualcomm's C-V2X tech in an Audi Q8 at CES 2019© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Qualcomm C-V2X demo

Still, this technology doesn't replace in-car safety features; it supplements it. "Cameras, radar and LIDAR are good, but not sufficient because you still need communications," said Jason L. Ellis, Qualcomm's director of business development for connected car and telematics.

Qualcomm's technology uses cellular-style radio communication but not a cellular network. It doesn't need to communicate with a base station or server to make all this magic happen. Instead, the radio runs on an unlicensed 5.9GHz band that has been specifically set aside for transportation use. And because Qualcomm's chip can provide both this C-V2X functionality and traditional telematics -- in-car Wi-Fi, OnStar-like functions, live traffic maps -- the supplier thinks it'll appeal to car manufacturers.

The radios have a range of approximately 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in ideal circumstances and about half a kilometer in dense urban environments. Most importantly, because there's no cell network to connect to, owners of cars don't need to pay for a data plan to use the C-V2X feature -- unlike, say, keeping a data plan to continue getting map data and Wi-Fi in your late-model car.

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“ Qualcomm Technologies ’ anticipated 9150 C - V 2 X chipset serves as a major milestone in paving the road for 5G and safer autonomous driving. As C - V 2 X continues to serve as an essential ingredient for enhanced safety for next-generation vehicles, Qualcomm Technologies ’ 9150 C - V 2 X chipset will

Ideally Qualcomm would like to see infrastructure -- traffic lights, crosswalks and so on -- fitted with its chips, too, so those devices could communicate with cars. The supplier announced it's planning to work on a trial system for that here in Las Vegas. Audi and Qualcomm actually demo'd V2I technology like this in Las Vegas several years ago, but Ellis says that setup used older, cellphone data-based connections with more latency.

The big question is, of course, how quickly this technology will spread across the new-car market. (The Audi used in the demo was specifically modified for the trial and had an extra antenna and computer installed for the communications.) Ford said publicly at CES that it would install Qualcomm's chips in all its new cars from 2022. And because the C-V2X feature doesn't necessarily require municipalities to install new infrastructure, it'll work in any city as soon as appropriately equipped cars arrive. But it's clear that the warning system will only be at its most useful when every vehicle on the road has this tech.

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Sampling Qualcomm's C-V2X tech in an Audi Q8 at CES 2019© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Qualcomm C-V2X demo

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