Continental has announced it is developing a flexible 5G hybrid platform that allows mobile network communication, as well as rapid and reliable direct exchange of data, for a 5G-Hybrid-V2X solution. This new 5G hybrid platform integrates different V2X technologies, and has won its first series order from a customer, the company noted. In addition, the Hybrid V2X solution is said to enable manufacturers to equip vehicles for different technology preferences. Continental will exhibit a live demonstrator of Hybrid V2X featuring DSRC V2X integrated within a classic 4G Telematics Unit at CES 2019.
The 5G-Hybrid-V2X solution helps connected vehicles to allow drivers and passengers access to state-of-the-art infotainment. Connected vehicles also have the potential to communicate real-time traffic updates and road hazards, and future safety assist functions by communicating directly with other vehicles or infrastructure, making driving safer and more efficient. Continental’s solution integrates technologies not only for 4G and 5G network access, but also Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and Cellular-V2X for direct V2X communication required for connected vehicles.
The Continental Hybrid V2X solution enables vehicle manufacturers to overcome a big challenge when deploying V2X on a global scale. Contrary to regular mobile network communication, the technical path to establish direct V2X communication varies globally, with some regions preferring DSRC while others lean toward Cellular-V2X standard, the company said. It added that with the new hybrid V2X solution, the same hardware and software platform can be used to support either communication standard, reducing cost, along with complexity.
The company’s first V2X series project will be taking place in China, which is also the first series development of a V2X product.
Johann Hiebl, Head, business units Body & Security and Infotainment & Connectivity, Continental, said winning a first project based on the 5G-Hybrid-V2X platform is great news for the entire industry. Bringing 5G on the development roadmap so early demonstrates that the automotive industry has its finger on the pulse of digitalisation, he added. Hiebl further said that deploying V2X on such a large, global scale marks an important stepping stone for safer and more intelligent mobility.
Ad-hoc networking through V2X has the potential to drastically increase driving safety, noted Dr Bernhard Klumpp, Head - Passive Safety and Sensorics business unit, Continental. He said direct information from other vehicles can improve the decision-making of drivers and automated driving functions. V2X technology must be as fast and reliable as possible to fulfil this task, and must be available globally, Dr Klumpp added. He also said, “To date, short-range communication and long-range communication are two different systems with dedicated ECUs. Networking both types of communication more closely will bring safety benefits.”
Continental is said to perfectly complement its existing product portfolio with the new hybrid platform. Automakers will have all options in the future – from the classic single Telematic Control Unit (TCU) or DSRC solution, to the new hybrid platform, the company noted. As a result, vehicles will be well equipped for all regional challenges. Furthermore, Continental said it plans to start series production on its Hybrid V2X solution globally in the early 2020s.