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December 5, 2018

Bosch and Veniam ensure connected cars can communicate in common global language

Bosch has developed a system to ensure that the more than 470m connected vehicles expected to be on the roads by 2025 are capable of communicating with each other as well as with their surroundings.

By Olly Wehring

Bosch has developed a system to ensure that the more than 470m connected vehicles expected to be on the roads by 2025 are capable of communicating with each other as well as with their surroundings.

Vehicle to everything (V2X) technology allows vehicles to communicate directly with one another as well as with traffic signals, roadworks and pedestrian crossings, alerting other road users to potential hazards like traffic jams, accidents, and icy conditions.

There is currently no globally standardised technical basis for this exchange of data. China primarily uses Cellular-V2X technology (C-V2X), based on mobile communications; Europe and the United States are additionally introducing transmission standards based on Wi-Fi (DSRC and ITS-G5) alongside C-V2X. The international mishmash of standards being implemented by countries and vehicle manufacturers could lead to serious vehicle communication issues.

Bosch has made a significant move to reduce this risk by combining connectivity and telematics units which individually are only capable of a single transmission technology. This all in one, central control unit for V2X data communication enables vehicles to use Wi-Fi networks where available, and other means elsewhere.

Equipped vehicles will be able to communicate with one another as well as with their surroundings regardless of the vehicle make or the country in which they are used, making V2X communication more secure and reliable.

Dirk Hoheisel for Bosch said: "What is true for people is also true for cars: communication works best with a common language and a good connection. To enable connected and automated driving in the future, vehicles must be able to easily communicate with one another as well as with their surroundings.

"Bosch is taking a multi-standard approach when it comes to V2X. We have developed a universal connectivity unit capable of communicating using all of the transmission standards implemented in connected automobiles."

The complex task of managing these diverse communication options is handled by software from the Silicon Valley-based start-up Veniam. It continuously searches for the best transmission technology that suits the particular requirements, switching automatically between available alternatives to maintain seamless vehicle connectivity.

Critical information must be communicated in real time using highly reliable technology that is always ready for use – even if data transmission costs are greater. Software updates from the cloud, on the other hand, can be put on hold until a low-cost Wi-Fi network becomes available.

Bosch has tested V2X on the roads in Europe, the United States and China. Bosch, Vodafone, and Huawei are the first companies in Europe to perform trials of V2X communication with 5G test modules. Bosch has also played a significant role in the biggest European field trial to date (simTD, Safe Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany), where V2X communication has proven its suitability for daily use under everyday conditions and in lab simulations.

Bosch has also tested secure, direct communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure, cameras, and sensors in Detroit, where equipped vehicles were provided with notifications about traffic signals and pedestrians crossing the street – functions designed to enhance safety in city traffic. V2X will inform vehicles when the next set of traffic lights is going to turn green, enabling them to adjust their speed accordingly so that traffic flows more smoothly.

In China, Bosch is testing ad hoc communication using Wi-Fi as well as cellular technology. The tests are focusing on alerts that help the driver when overtaking or negotiating complex intersections.

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