Qualcomm pilots C-V2X in Chula Vista

  • August 4, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Qualcomm Technologies and the San Diego Regional Proving Grounds (SDRPG) have launched a C-V2X direct communication programme for the city of Chula Vista in California.
C-V2X direct communication technology is designed to offer vehicles low latency communications for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating on designated and harmonised 5.9GHz ITS spectrum.
SDRPG, which is composed of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans District 11), the city of Chula Vista and the San Diego Association of Governments (Sandag), and Qualcomm Technologies, designed the programme to facilitate use case research and testing for vehicle communications in realistic operating conditions.
“The city of Chula Vista strongly supports next-generation vehicle communication technologies like C-V2X as we look to improving vehicle safety, traffic efficiency and towards autonomous driving,” said Bill Valle, Chula Vista director of engineering. “We look forward to this joint effort with Qualcomm Technologies to help inform policies and produce new systems that are expected to result in a safer and more efficient transportation network for the region.”
The public agencies aim to use the project to assess C-V2X capabilities on San Diego roadways by conducting technology testing, as well as demonstrate the technology’s potential to improve automotive safety and traffic efficiency.
Qualcomm is one of SDRPG’s private sector affiliates working with the public sector partners to advance technology testing and readiness for implementation. The programme spans across a 5km corridor with commercial C-V2X roadside units (RSUs), featuring the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X platform, installed along the highways and at traffic light intersections off of Interstate 805 and California State Route 52 highways between Sorrento Valley and Kearny Mesa.
Vehicles used in the project are provided by Caltrans and are equipped with commercial C-V2X onboard units featuring the 9150 C-V2X platform.
This C-V2X programme is taking place now and is expected to last through the second half of this year.
While C-V2X is designed to be globally compatible with 5G and complement other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as sensors, cameras, radar and lidar, the San Diego C-V2X project will focus solely on the benefits and reliability of vehicle communication technology, using V2I use cases, such as speed limits, roadside warnings, closures and travel times. The programme joins Colorado and Virginia, which have announced limited deployments for C-V2X technology for each of their states.
To support the growing C-V2X ecosystem, the programme will also be made open to car makers and road operators who have an interest in using the project platform for testing or to explore the potential for cost-efficient benefits associated with embedded cellular technology in vehicles, and synergies between the deployment of cellular base stations and roadside infrastructure.
“Our work with the San Diego Regional Proving Grounds organisation to help deploy its C-V2X programme serves as another significant milestone in our continued advancement of connected driving technologies,” said Jim Misener, senior director for product management at Qualcomm Technologies. “Working with roadside infrastructure owner operators to jointly explore and show benefits in end-to-end transportation use cases, C-V2X will not only demonstrate the technology’s impact for the safety of vehicles, drivers and passengers locally, but showcase its statewide and international impact with its ability to reduce collisions and incidents.”
Sandag chair and Poway mayor Steve Vaus added: “Successes and lessons learned from the C-V2X installation are the vital data we need to incorporate these emerging concepts into the transportation planning that Sandag is doing for the region. In particular, testing like this can determine how technology will be incorporated into the regional transportation plan.”
C-V2X direct communication mode is designed to offer vehicles low latency communications directly with other vehicles, roadside infrastructure and pedestrians without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, by operating in the designated and harmonised 5.9GHz ITS spectrum, which the FCC has proposed to allocate for C-V2X. In the direct communications mode, C-V2X also facilitates the ability of vehicles to share information without the involvement of the cellular network, supporting safety conscious applications while offering driver anonymity.
The technology can support 360-degree non-line-of-sight awareness, and is designed to extend a vehicle’s ability to see, hear and understand the environment down the road, at blind intersections or in bad weather.
Caltrans District 11 serves one of the most geographically and culturally diverse areas in the USA and includes San Diego and Imperial counties. It spans the entire California-Mexico border from the Pacific coast to Arizona and reaches north from the international border to Orange and Riverside counties.
District 11 has gained considerable attention as a hub of transportation technology for the state and the nation. District projects, programmes and public safety campaigns have been recognised locally, across the state and on a national level for ingenuity and innovation. It prides itself in its commitment to providing a safe, efficient, sustainable and accessible transportation system, preserving natural resources.
Chula Vista is at the centre of one of the richest cultural, economic and environmentally diverse zones in the USA. It is the second-largest city in San Diego county with a population of 267,000. Established neighbourhoods, contemporary communities, start-ups, corporations, entertainment venues, a US Olympic and Paralympic training site, and historic downtown all contribute to Chula Vista’s attraction for families and businesses.