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CAV News Digest - Vol. 2 Number7 July 2018

As the stream of stories on automation continues and intensifies, we are also seeing more stories on connection. However, more attention to terminology would be helpful. There are basically two forms of vehicle connection. The term “connected vehicle” refers to specific communication from and to vehicles; this form of communication follows peer-reviewed standards, uses licensed bandwidth, has high reliability and immediacy and can be used to initiate vehicle control actions – as if the driver has been endowed with wall-to-wall attention to the driving task and with heightened situation awareness.


Related terms include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and V2X (where X denotes vehicle, infrastructure, or other road user). Attempts are underway to push aside DSRC as the standardized wireless regime for connected vehicles. From a commercial perspective, this has the twin benefits of (1) opening up spectrum currently allocated to vehicle safety for infotainment purposes and (2) funneling all connected vehicle communications via cellular networks. While it is tempting to be agnostic about the underlying communication platform, we should be aware of certain elements key to a valid connected vehicle platform:

  • Independent testing to the exacting standards of vehicle safety systems;
  • Use of licensed spectrum free from interference; and
  • Affordability for all roadway users.

The push to replace DSRC also attempts to capture and fashion the term V2X as a form of 5G cellular (“C-V2X“). On the contrary, “V2X” is long-established as a carrier-agnostic term, albeit born out of the DSRC development process.


Finally, the term “vehicle with connectivity” may be applied to a range of communication regimes used for many worthy purposes such as mapping, navigation, and over-the-air software updates. These activities do not require the immediate two-way reliability of DSRC and are not “connected vehicles” in the sense described here.

1. Automakers and Cell Companies Are Pushing for Connected Car Standards


The Story:  BMW, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom (DT), and Ericsson are urging the European Commission (EC) to back technological standards making cellular networks the required platform for connected vehicles, rather than technologies using Wi-Fi. Such standards would allow telcos to tap into a valuable new stream of revenue. Analysis by Strategy& estimates that connected cars have the potential to produce $53 billion in additional revenue in Western Europe alone through services like video and music streaming, in-car payments, and location-based suggestions for restaurants or retail stores. 


The Takeaway: Unlike the US, Europe has so far shown no inclination to mandate connected vehicle technology. The companies now want the EC to mandate all cars in the EU to be built with cellular-based C-V2X technologies, strongly promoting it as a better option for connected cars than Wi-Fi (known in the US as DSRC). It is unusual – in Europe and in the US – for the government to mandate safety technology that has not been adequately tested for its safety performance. We note that DSRC has been tested extensively for its very substantial safety benefits.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

2. Federal Regulators, Industry Leaders Review Autonomous Vehicles' Potential


The Story: At the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco, CA, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that, although there are numerous challenges and issues facing the widespread adoption of automated vehicles, “one thing is certain - the autonomous revolution is coming.  For regulators, our responsibility is to understand it and help prepare for this new future.” The challenges are both legal and technical, but the “greatest and deepest” revolve around public acceptance, which is why Chao called on the audience members to share their work with consumers. “This may be the biggest challenge of all: will the public accept, trust and adopt AV systems?” she said. 


At the same event, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stated that automated freight vehicle technology could prevent thousands of fatalities, and asked academia, industry stakeholders, innovators, and users to share feedback about automated driving systems for its national strategy.


The Takeaway: The annual event provides a significant benchmark of the automated vehicle developmental progress. Federal interest continues to focus on safety evaluation of HAVs of all modes. FMCSA Chief Ray Martinez noted that facilitating automated driving systems in commercial motor vehicles is one way that the administration is encouraging and supporting innovation - a top priority for the Secretary.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

3. First Ever Driverless Race Car Completes Goodwood Hillclimb


The Story: Roborace's Robocar became the first driverless race car to complete the hill-climb event at the recently concluded Goodwood Festival of Speed at Goodwood House, UK. The electric, automated car successfully navigated the 1.16 mile course.


The Takeaway: The Robocar used a variety of sensors located around the vehicle to give it a 360-degree vision of the environment, as well as AI technology to localize its position, detect drivable surfaces, and objects. As with most racing technologies, look for these automated vehicle technologies to make their way to passenger vehicles soon.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

4. What Will Connect Connected Vehicles? The Debate Heats Up


The Story:  There are several questions that loom regarding the connectivity of connected vehicles and who or what will maintain and/or provide the connectivity. That debate about what do the connections connect to is heating up.


The Takeaway: The debate pits a forthcoming 5G wireless infrastructure called V2X against existing Wi-Fi technology that, and FSRC in particular. The question involves how connected cars communicate with outside networks, an area that touches multiple issues related to web-enabled driving – including safety, data collection and management, payment and commerce features, and our ability to take advantage of the Internet of Things.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

5. Could Autonomous Vehicles Mean People Actually Drive More?


The Story:  According to analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), automated vehicles could result in increased energy use because more people may use automated vehicles more often.


The Takeaway: It's no secret that automated vehicles are changing the cost-benefit analysis of driving, but much of the research has focused on fuel savings, particularly from fleets of trucks. However, the mobility demand and vehicle use side part of the equation is largely unknown.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

6. Smart Cities Council Releases Online Project Coordination Platform


The Story: The Smart Cities Council released a new online portal - Smart Cities Project Activator - to help cities organize projects and work across departments to streamline new initiatives.


The Takeaway: The new Smart Cities Activator portal is designed to help remove barriers between conception and execution of projects. The portal aims to keep all city departments on the same page, reaching consensus faster, scope projects quickly, and win innovative project financing. 


The Smart Cities Project Activator portal is available to any city and all that is needed is internet connectivity.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

7. Vehicle Connectivity to Reach 100% by 2025


The Story:  According to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) Fleet Technology Report, the UK fleet market will have 100% vehicle connectivity by 2025.


The Takeaway: The BVRLA report looked into the impact that vehicles with connectivity are having on the vehicle rental and leasing industry, and their future potential. It found that members have an increasingly clear vision of how they can deliver more value with vehicle connectivity, but cited difficulties in accessing vehicle data and concerns with compliance to the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation. 


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

About CAVita


CAVita is a strategic consultancy focused on connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) that was formed in 2015 by seasoned and highly respected ITS industry executives Abbas Mohaddes and Peter Sweatman to provide public and private companies, municipalities, and organizations with the deep expertise required to successfully navigate and take advantage of transportation’s evolution.


Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Econolite, CAVita maintains extensive contacts with decision-makers in vehicle and infrastructure technology, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), mobility systems for people and freight, technology companies, CAV deployment and testing consortia, leading research universities, and broader parts of the ecosystem including telecommunications, data analytics, logistics, Internet-of-Things (IOT), and insurance. Furthermore, CAVita’s Econolite affiliation affords unparalleled access to a broad array of engineering resources, ITS expertise, and deployment capabilities.


CAVita’s clients include some of the transportation industry’s leading organizations, such as the two largest transportation research institutes, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Other clients include the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and numerous private companies.


Contact CAVita today to discuss how we can help you accomplish your connected and automated vehicle goals!

CAV News Digest is a production of CAVita, LLC, an Econolite company.

For more information on CAVita and its services, please contact:


Peter Sweatman

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