Ford Motor Company today announced plans to begin deploying cellular vehicle-to-everything, or C-V2X, technology in Ford vehicles in China in 2021.
C-V2X technology can help make streets safer with vehicles that will be able to “talk” and “listen” to each other, pedestrians, cyclists and traffic lights, and supports the development of autonomous driving.
This commitment demonstrates Ford’s drive to accelerate the commercial deployment of C-V2X wireless communication technology, and follows the company’s plan to deploy C-V2X technology in all new Ford models in the United States beginning in 2022.
“C-V2X technology deployment is key to our ‘In China, For China’ strategy,” said Anning Chen, president and CEO of Ford China. “With China’s fast 5G development, and our own rapid progress in C-V2X, we are working at China speed to equip our vehicles with C-V2X technology. Ford customers in China will be the first to receive the benefits of this smart technology, which will help make local streets safer and less congested.”
Embracing the era of 5G
China is a world leader in the development of 5G technology. As the first stage of 5G, C-V2X is an important step in building out a full range of 5G applications and infrastructure. Multiple telecom operators in China have announced their plans for 5G commercial deployment and are rapidly building 5G cellular networks.
As a key member of the 5G Automobile Association (5GAA), Ford is working closely with industry and government agencies around the world to accelerate momentum for C-V2X development and deployment.
Working together with the driver-assist technologies of today, including the Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite, and autonomous driving technologies of the future, C-V2X provides an additional source of data about city infrastructure, traffic, construction and emergency vehicles. Similar to the way hearing and vision work together to help a person navigate a complex world, C-V2X complements vehicle sensors such as radar, LiDAR and camera systems to enhance a vehicle’s ability to operate in complex environments, potentially mitigating risks in blind interactions, bad weather, and other challenging conditions.
Accelerating C-V2X technology tests
This month, Ford began testing its C-V2X-based driver-assist technology combined with Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technology in Shanghai. MEC technology moves cloud computing to the roadside infrastructure to enhance latency and reliability. During the tests, Ford vehicles equipped with C-V2X will be able to interact with a variety of road users – including pedestrians and vehicles without C-V2X capability – via cameras from roadside infrastructure. This will provide Ford vehicles equipped with C-V2X with more comprehensive safety measures even before C-V2X is widely utilized.
This project will be the latest in a series of tests Ford has conducted in China to assess the performance of C-V2X technology operating in vehicles, with the goal of seeing it adopted.
Testing began in late 2017, when Ford kicked off its first C-V2X technology trial in China at the National Intelligent Vehicle Pilot Zone in Shanghai, and continued in May 2018, when Ford conducted successful technical tests as part of Wuxi’s LTE-V2X pilot project – the world’s first city-level project of its kind performed on public roads. LTE-V2X, along with the evolution from 4G to 5G, is the first phase of C-V2X technology.
In November 2018, together with other OEMs, communication module providers and terminal vendors, Ford participated in a live demonstration in Shanghai, which marked the world’s first three-layered interoperability of C-V2X technology. It was the first time different brands and solutions could “speak” the same C-V2X language, not only maximizing the benefits for Ford C-V2X-equipped vehicles but also building a better overall C-V2X environment.
“C-V2X will live up to its full potential when enough vehicles and city infrastructure take advantage of it. Our move to equip new Ford vehicles in China with C-V2X capability will contribute to the meaningful deployment of this advanced technology,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle Platform and Product. “We are dedicated to working together with the industry and government agencies globally to accelerate momentum for C-V2X, helping us deliver on our vision of ‘smart vehicles for a smart world’.”
Source and photo credits: Ford