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V2X, DSRC, and 5G: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Communications in 2021


Vehicle manufacturers are starting to build cars and trucks with new technology that allows the vehicles to share data, such as location and speed, directly with one another. This technology, dubbed “V2X” or “Vehicle to Everything,” will help increase safety and prevent accidents. Two similar technologies, “DSRC” and “C-V2X,” already exist and may be adopted for this purpose. However, these two technologies are not compatible and there is no single approach established that will work for all regions of the world. So, global vehicle manufacturers will need to rely on flexible communications platforms that can help make these communication technologies feasible.

One of the biggest automotive buzzwords of this decade will be V2X. Although there is not much evidence of current application on today’s US roads, it will certainly become ubiquitous in cars, commercial vehicles, and even off-highway equipment very soon. Ford is already making public commitments to deploy V2X in multiple markets over the next two years.

V2X communication technology will vastly improve road safety and efficiency by allowing smart cars to share data directly between vehicles to assist with functions such as accident avoidance. The simple communication of GPS data can already provide some visibility in an otherwise “blind” intersection. And since modern vehicles understand quite a lot about their environments, there is a huge potential for V2X to improve road safety by communicating that data.

But exactly how V2X will accomplish that is a hot topic among connectivity experts today. The two technologies mentioned above, DSRC and C-V2X, are competing for prominence and radio spectrum throughout the world. Yet, their incompatibility prevents them from talking to directly to one another.

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