Qualcomm is accelerating the pace of the connected car by teaming with LG Electronics to test 5G and cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X) in cars. The two companies plan to test the technology in the first half of 2018.
Speaking at a press and analyst event in San Diego last week, Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, automotive at Qualcomm, said that in the past, putting connectivity into cars was an after thought. But today the automotive industry is aggressively looking for ways to differentiate their vehicles from the competition. And high-speed connectivity is one way to do that.
The benefit of C-V2X technology is that it connects the car to all types of objects that either have sensors or cellular connectivity. For example, C-V2X will connect the car to sensors that are in cameras, stoplights, traffic signs, buildings, or to people via their smartphones. Duggal noted that C-V2X is a key step toward autonomous cars because it can help cars detect obstructions that are not visible to the driver yet.
LG is currently developing an automotive platform that uses Qualcomm’s X16 Snapdragon LTE modem, which is based upon 3GPP Release 14. The X16 modem supports gigabit speeds, WiFi 802.11ac, WiFi 802.11p/DSRC, and C-V2X.
Both Qualcomm and LG are well-versed in bringing together wireless tech and cars. The two worked together on a telematics system more than a decade ago.
Qualcomm is part of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), which was formed last year to conduct technology trials and development business models for connected cars. Founding members include Qualcomm, Ericsson, Nokia, Audi, BMW Group, Daimler, Huawei, and Intel.
The group has grown over the past few months and now has more than 27 members including large operators such as China Mobile, SK Telecom, Vodafone, and Verizon. The 5GAA is a staunch advocate for the cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) standard, which is currently part of the 3GPP Release 14.