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CES 2019: Qualcomm will test its C-V2X connected-car tech in Las Vegas

It's the first time this tech has been tested in Las Vegas, but it's not the first V2X tech to make it to Sin City.

C-V2X can spell the difference between "thank goodness" and "what's our insurance deductible?"

Qualcomm's CES 2019 presence is all about the connected car. In addition to a big announcement with Ford, the chipmaker is about to test its tech among the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Qualcomm announced at CES 2019 that it has partnered with the City of Las Vegas to test its cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology on public roads. Qualcomm and its partners will install roadside C-V2X units on multiple roads in Las Vegas to not only demonstrate the benefits of C-V2X, but also to highlight Las Vegas itself as a place for nascent automotive tech to stretch its legs.

While C-V2X can cover all sorts of situations, Qualcomm only mentioned "signal phase and timing and traffic messaging to vehicles." The former part of that, signal phase and timing, has already been demonstrated in Las Vegas; Audi's Traffic Light Information system has been running in Las Vegas since 2016. It beams traffic light data to the car, telling the driver when a light is expected to change.

The cellular part of C-V2X refers to the fact that it primarily operates on cellular networks, and it'll eventually be compatible with 5G once that takes over everything we know and love. But in the event cellular networks are hard to come by (not a problem in Vegas, at least on the Strip), it can also function on the 5.9-gigahertz spectrum, aka 802.11p, aka dedicated short-range communications (DSRC).

Qualcomm gets yet another flexibility point for being brand-agnostic, too. While Qualcomm and Ford announced earlier today that new Ford vehicles will pack C-V2X tech starting in 2022, C-V2X has already been demonstrated with Audi and Ford vehicles communicating with one another. This isn't some solution that'll be limited to one automaker -- anyone who wants to hitch their horse to Qualcomm's C-V2X wagon is welcome to.

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