I guess I'm missing the point of the article, Junko. The title implies doubt as to the need for more than just local in-car sensors, and yet then you introduce the idea of leveraging off the cell telephone infrastructure, precisely to help provide that V2I link.
It seems rather obvious why you need information from the roadways and other vehicles. If for no other reason, when the self-driving car plans out a route, something needs to tell it if the route is viable or not. For that, you need real-time information. Also, you can't always rely on the visibility or perfection of lane marker and road edge stripes, for the car to steer itself. What about the intentions of adjacent cars?
Maybe the real question is, what form will these V2I and V2V links take? Are they mostly going to be optical, where the self-driving cars detect lights and reads signals from the road and from other cars, as we do with our eyes? Or are these optical cues going to be replaced by RF comms?
That discussion would make sense to me. Pretending a self-driving car doesn't need information transmitted in real-time, by other cars and by the roads, optical or RF, or a mix of the two, does not make sense.
Of course, I do understand the importance of getting infrastructure support for the future of "connected cars." But so many things have happened since the industry conjured up the blueprint of V2V and V2I. As some of the industry analysts point out in the story, it would be a big mistake for the U.S. mobile industry not to get involved in the V2X trials.