Just like smartphones, cars have gone from offering limited functionality to being hubs for integrated services. Automakers are now taking full advantage of these advances, which is why, when designing the Uconnect platform, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) prepared for the possibility of being able to integrate future innovations like 5G technology. Using such technology for connecting vehicles has enabled FCA to create a “global ecosystem” in which to improve the driving experience for its customers inside and outside the vehicle.
The new 5G technology is more than just technological progress but is a conceptual revolution of automotive connectivity.
An example of FCA’s commitment to innovation was the participation in the 5GAA World Conference and Demonstration, that took place this past week in Turin, Italy. The event demonstrated how two connected cars can communicate with each other with a cloud-based system, improving safety and driving quality. The diffusion of 5G technology will introduce a new generation of high-speed, low-latency communications and has FCA presenting five new systems that will exploit these advantages, like Forward Collision Warning, Urban Geo-referenced Alert, Stationary Vehicle Warning, Emergency Electronic Brake Light Warning and See-Through.
Gilberto Ceresa, Head of Global Connectivity Team and CIO EMEA & LATAM of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stated that “FCA’s Uconnect system will use 5G technology in many more ways than is shown during the Turin event. We believe that technology 5G can help transform the mobility of the future and revolutionize the way in which cars are perceived when 5G will become a global standard and the infrastructure will develop in parallel, this will allow manufacturers and consumers to make the most of the many potentials of this new technology “.
FCA and Harman (Samsung) have presented two applications of C-V2V (Cellular Vehicle to Vehicle) technology, with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) systems. The demonstration involved a Maserati Levante and Quattroporte, which anonymously communicated basic information such as their position and direction from a direct radio link. The FCW system detects any frontal collisions and warns the driver accordingly. Thanks to the intercommunication of sensor data to nearby connected cars, the technology will be able to reduce the risk of accidents (for example at intersections). The IMA system provides assistance to the driver near the intersections in order to avoid possible side collisions.
The new 5G architecture will also allow drivers to be warned in advance of any critical issues and will make city driving a more enjoyable experience. The Urban Geo-referenced Alert system, a joint venture between TIM, FCA, Links, City of Turin with 5T and Politecnico di Torino, aims to warn drivers of possible dangers and risks such as road works, speed limits and traffic jams. Thanks to the digital mobility platform of Turin that monitors the road situation in real-time, a standard geo-referenced warning message can be first collected by the Politecnico di Torino and by Links and then transmitted via the cloud broker TIM 5G AMQP. The notification is sent only to the cars that require this information and in the FCA cars, it is displayed on the user interface on board so that the driver can act as appropriate. The demonstration confirmed that the TIM 5G network is suitable for the development of intelligent road services for connected cars. This solution also complies with industry standards and can, therefore, be applied in other locations covered by mobile networks.
The third demonstration that saw the involvement of FCA presented the Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology (C-V2X). Taking advantage of this technology, cars can communicate with each other, with other road users and with the infrastructure. Even in areas without coverage of mobile networks, C-V2X communication allows an exchange of time-sensitive and safety-critical information. FCA, together with Continental and Qualcomm, demonstrated two uses of this technology with two Jeep® Renegades. The switching on of the emergency lights activates the Stationary Vehicle Warning (SVW) function which transmits a message to all the nearby cars so as to signal to the approaching vehicles that the danger is still not visible. In the event of sudden braking of a car.
Finally, Vodafone, FCA, Vodafone Automotive, Marelli and Altran presented the “See-Through” system, which uses C-V2V communication to exchange video in real-time between cars and expand the driver’s field even in situations of limited visibility. This technology aims to prevent accidents, especially during overtaking maneuvers. For the demonstration, two Jeep® Renegades were used, linked together by a 5G router supplied by Marelli and equipped with high-frame-rate cameras provided by Marelli Motorsport. Real-time monitoring and a spatial mapping algorithm of the cars, specially developed by Vodafone Automotive, allow Vodafone’s Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) system to dynamically manage and route video streams based on the mutual positions of the cars, offering minimal end-to-end latency to the benefit of driver safety. The extremely low latency and high reliability of Vodafone’s 5G technology are essential to ensure the flow and synchronization of the exchange of video information in real-time between the cars, even in conditions of high traffic and cell saturation.
FCA is focused on being 100% compliant with these new technologies across every brand globally by the 2022 model year.
So what do you think of the future possibilities of having vehicles communicate directly with one another? Leave your comments below.