Smarter Driver: What'll it take to get cars connected to each other
Cooley On Cars
Vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to infrastructure, they're kind of summarized as V2X, vehicle to everything.
And they're coming relatively soon.
The idea is to connect cars to each other, to traffic signals coming up ahead, to master traffic control centers that every metro has these days.
Even to pedestrians and bicycles that are near you.
It's about time.
Bicycle coming from the left.
Why does the smarter driver care?
Well, the US Department of Transportation says that if v to v was widespread.
We could see an 80% reduction in car crashes, leaving out those that involve driver impairment.
Put another way, that's saving 20,000 of the 37,000 annual auto deaths.
In this country.
But all that talking is gonna require some kind of communication network wireless TBD.
And it's a very big discussion these days.
First, there's 5G, now if 5G is coming to power our mobiles, but it's going to be used in a lot of things.
It operates in the 28, 37, and 39 GHz bands, very high frequency stuff, at least here in the U.S. And it's not due in any real commercial Commercial deployment till, at least 2020.
Then, there's DSRC, dedicated short range communication, it's a cousin of Wi-Fi, hence, it's technical name, 802.11p.
Notice the similarity to your 802.11 at home.
It operates in the 5.9GHz band, much lower, than 5G.
And that's not too far from some 5 gigahertz stuff you probably already use in WiFi gear around your house.
Unlike 5G, DSRC is just slightly here now, General Motors is offering it in the 2017 CTS already.
There's not a lot forward to talk to.
Now know the fundamental difference here, 5G is cellular.
The kind that already covers wide areas and metro areas.
DSRC being wi-fi is a shorter range technology.
Though when enough cars have it, it also has a lot of reach because they have a mesh.
Now these two are gonna be be judge on a lot of
But there are a handful I want you to think about.
First is bandwidth.
Bandwidth is when you've got a really big pipe of radio frequencies.
A wide slice of them.
That's particularly good for moving very large rich data, like video, of course.
Or also optical.
Signals coming off a camera or a high resolution sensor.
Now don't confuse bandwidth with speed.
It's easy to do, but it's a different thing.
Speed is better measured by what's called latency.
That is the amount of time it takes for a signal to be transmitted and And then received by a device on the other end.
That can be very important in vehicles where a car ahead says I'm braking, and the cars behind wanna know that right away.
Then we get to this area of dedication.
5G obviously will not be dedicated just to car use.
It's gonna be used by everything wireless once it rolls out.
DSR-C Could be used only by cares.
Right now that's how it's been envisioned, but I can tell you the wireless industry, of mobiles and such, they wanna share that with cars because it's really good spectrum.
It works really well.
There's a discussion, a battle, going on right now between those industries and regulators.
And there's reliability.
You want to have absolute reliability in vehicles to ex-communication.
Now sometimes your phone has no bars, sometimes it has five bars and nothing is happening.
That's not acceptable in the reticular area.
Now solving these involves a lot of technical consideration that are beyond our skill But know that this will have to be the most reliable wireless platform ever rolled out to a consumer product.
And of course, it always comes down to cost.
Now it's hard to cost, to compare 5G to DSRC right now, this is really early days.
But the cost to put Put it in the vehicle is not just going to be price of those modules for each standards, but also how soon do you move?
If a car maker is putting in DSRC modules now like a couple we mention but then later finds that 5G won the day and they've now got dual fleets.
and have to deploy a whole new standard, they may have higher costs of both, engineering, the actual hardware, and of educating consumers and dealers what to do with it.
More realities of modern driving revealed now at CNETOnCars.com.
Click on smarter driver.
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