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Why C-V2X could be the key to safer cars and safer roads

Submitted by doug.peeples on June 8, 2018

Connected car technologies have the potential to increase traffic safety and reduce congestion, not to mention make driving more convenient. Council Associate Partners Panasonic, Intel and Ford and Global Lead Partner Qualcomm will work together to put Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies to the test in Colorado this summer. The partnership is a prime example of how cross-industry collaboration has taken on a major role in smart city technology development. — Doug Peeples

The Council Partners and other companies will install C-2VX technology in cars and on roads in Panasonic's CityNOW headquarters in Denver to test its range and reliability in real-world conditions — in what is said to be the first deployment of the technology in the U.S.

The project is an extension of an earlier partnership between Panasonic and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). "The state of Colorado has been focused on the rapid deployment of connected vehicle technology to advance safety and are encouraged by the progression of C-V2X," said Michael Lewis, executive director of CDOT. We're ready to help advance vehicle safety and serve as a hub for advanced vehicle testing, and development, with the support of Ford and technology leaders like Qualcomm Technologies and Panasonic."

A second deployment of the technology will take place on stretches of the I-70 Mountain Corridor later in the year. That section of I-70 has become increasingly congested as the region's population grows and even more so in winter months because it links Denver with popular ski slopes.

C-2VX technology involves both roadside devices and onboard units which will be installed on CDOT Ford utility vehicles. A platform from automotive components supplier Ficosa will be installed to allow vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure direct communications. Panasonic's connected vehicle data platform will collect data from the C-2VX-equipped vehicles and forward it to road operators. The intent is to improve situational awareness and communicate critical safety information to the vehicles.

The companies are confident they're on the right track.

As Don Butler, Ford's director of Connected Vehicle Platform & Product, explained "Initial field test results demonstrate that C-V2X is the clear choice for the global solution for V2X and the deployment of C-V2X in Colorado will further support this."

According to a Qualcomm news release, the technology also has other advantages. C-2VX has been built to be compatible globally with 5G technology. It also will complement existing driver assistance systems' sensors, including cameras and radar.

Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.