Cellular protocol provides impetus to V2X, while delays in the US mandate could stall DSRC
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-proposed mandate in the US to fit DSRC V2X wireless communication systems, which aim to increase road safety and improve traffic management, still has not been implemented and has an uncertain future under the Trump administration, according to Strategy Analytics. Also, a cellular technology based alternative (C-V2X) has recently been developed, with its advocates claiming it offers the high performance necessary to support V2X safety-critical applications. These were reported in Strategy Analytics' latest report, "Mandate Delays will Favor C-V2X in 'Protocol War' Battle with DSRC for V2X Implementations."
According to the report, with only limited offerings in Japan and on the 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan in the US, DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) deployments are very low for a technology that was developed 20 years ago, that was standardized seven years ago and has a recently proposed mandate planned for the US. The lack of "critical mass" of DSRC-enabled vehicles has, however, shifted attention towards the cellular communication protocol as a means of promoting V2X more rapidly.
The study goes on to say that stumbling blocks for DSRC V2X include the requirement of a new widespread infrastructure to be built and the limited DSRC adoption in other automotive wireless applications, largely confined to ETC (electronic toll collection). Conversely, C-V2X can leverage beacons already in place by the mobile industry and enables consumers immediate access to less safety-critical V2N (vehicle-to-network) and V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure) applications, sometimes in tandem with connected vehicle services through a smartphone app. C-V2X also has the PC5 interface linking to the 5.9 GHz band to enable safety critical Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) applications without adding data cost to consumers. "This", said Kevin Mak, Senior Analyst at the Automotive Practice of Strategy Analytics, "will enable a faster route to V2X than otherwise with DSRC."
While the C-V2X ecosystem continues to expand, most recently with the release of the Qualcomm 9150 chipset platform, the report findings highlight significant ongoing contention between proponents of the two V2X solutions.