DSRC, only choice
It took more than 10 years, for example, for proponents of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to push the V2V agenda that culminated in the DOT announcement Monday. Still unclear is how many more months it might take for a V2V mandate.
Strategy Analytics’ Lanctot noted that when the ITS crowd got started [with V2X ideas] in early 2000, the automotive industry had OnStar, and that was all. ;“Today, we have smartphones, and LTE is coming into cars along with satellite communications and Wi-Fi.” He predicted that in five to six years, “we will have LTE Advanced which will have taken on more safety critical functions.”
Left unsaid in the DOT’s V2V announcement was any mention of specifics on a wireless technology that would drive V2V communications. Said wireless technology is Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), for which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band to be used for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure.
Egil Juliussen, principal analyst for infotainment and ADAS at IHS Automotive, called DSRC “the only technology that has the necessary response time by communicating directly between cars.” He noted, “Any communication via a cellular or similar network would take too long.”
NXP’s Freeman agreed. “Other non-point-to-point technologies are always being considered, but those technologies have potential latency issues, which could make them unsuitable for safety critical applications,” he explained.
V2V outside the United States?
No countries appear to have yet gone ahead with mandating V2V communication technology for every car.
“Japan is the only country with V2X deployment, but it is V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure) focused since Japan is leveraging its current traffic information infrastructure, called VICS (Vehicle Information and Communication System),” Juliussen explained. VICS uses such underlying technologies as beacon and FM broadcasting.
The EU is gun-shy about a mandate, “since it was so difficult to get the eCall mandate done [in Europe],” he added. The EU is promoting “voluntary deployment by OEMs.”
Juliussen added, “South Korea is the most likely country that could do so since they like to get new tech deployed fast, but no hints this will happen.”
Meanwhile, there are several projects in Europe, according to NXP’s Freeman, “such as the ITS Corridor in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.” They are, however, “more of a V2I project,” he said, “running ahead as cooperatives between Industry and Government without Mandates.”
Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication: Frequency allocation worldwide (Source: Denso)
It’s important to note that DSRC is actually a group name for wireless V2X standards, including both V2I andV2V. DSRC systems in Europe, Japan, and US are not compatible and actually include some very significant variations -- including 5.8 GHz, 5.9 GHz, or even infrared, different baud rates, different protocols.
Next page: What about V2I?