[BRUSSELS] The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a cross-industry association of the telecoms and automotive industry, held a policy debate on Tuesday 5 December in Brussels to discuss the concrete actions necessary to implement 5G connected and automated vehicles in Europe
A recurring theme in Tuesday's debate was the cohesive development and implementation of cellular "vehicle to everything" (C-V2X) technology, the technology that will enable automobiles to communicate via cellular networks to other connected devices but also the possibility of ad-hoc communication without any cellular network involvement (e.g. in case of weak coverage). Policymakers and industry face the ongoing challenge of creating a cohesive framework that enables private sector innovation while ensuring a safe and economically viable rollout of new technologies.
Attendees heard from a wide range from various European political and administrative representatives, including Eddy Hartog, EC Head of Unit Smart Mobility and Living, Attila Benedek (Adviser to István Ujhelyi MEP, rapporteur on European C-ITS Strategy), Jaime Moreno García-Cano of the Spanish traffic authority or Andreas Geiss, EC Head of Unit for Spectrum Policy. 5GAA was represented by its Secretary, Markus Dillinger of Huawei and board members, Luke Ibbetson of Vodafone, Joachim Göthel of BMW, Rainer Krumrein of Daimler, and Friedhelm Ramme of Ericsson.
The debate coincides with the Commission's ongoing public consultation on its European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which runs through January 5, 2018. C-V2X technology stands to significantly improve road safety and facilitate traffic flows in the EU. Ultimately, the benefits of this technology across the EU could save the several billion euros that are lost every year to traffic accidents and congested roadways.
Markus Dillinger, 5GAA Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee: "5GAA was founded to underscore the urgency in developing technology that makes our roads safer and smarter. Today's debate brought together public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the capabilities of such technology as well as the acceleration of creating a regulatory framework in which the industry can work."
During the event, analysts from Analysys Mason and SBD Automotive presented the findings of a cost-benefit analysis of implementing C-V2X technology. The socio-economic returns of deployment of C-ITS systems may amount to EUR 43 billion by 2035 in Europe, if both C-V2X and the Wi-Fi Standard IEEE 802.11p are able to co-exist in the 5.9GHz spectrum band. The 5GAA also presented a study assessing the road safety benefits of LTE-V2X (PC-5) and IEEE 802.11p in the EU, which indicates that LTE-V2X (PC5) outperforms 802.11p in reducing fatalities and serious injuries. In addition, it demonstrates that the absence of interoperability between technologies is unlikely to present a substantive barrier to the reduction of road accidents in the short to medium term. Bill McKinley, 5GAA rapporteur on tests and trials, and Rainer Krumrein of Daimler also presented 5GAA's perspective on C-V2X performance and future capabilities.
The event culminated in a panel discussion to discuss the right framework to accelerate the deployment of the C-ITS across Europe. Particular attention was given to short range communications in the 5.9 GHz band and the four guiding policy principles established by the European Commission: uncompromised safety services for all users in case of multiple technologies implementation, technology neutrality of spectrum regulation, efficient spectrum use and introduction in the longer-term of 5G for the further development of cooperative, connected and automated mobility.
Luke Ibbetson, R&D Director Vodafone Group and member of 5GAA: "Both C-V2X and ITS-G5 technologies should peacefully co-exist in the 5.9 GHz band. The socio-economic and road safety studies presented at this event indicate that co-existence offers the highest net benefits for the European economy, amounting to EUR 43 billion by 2035."
Joachim Göthel, Senior Manager Project 5G-Alliance of BMW and member of 5GAA: "C-V2X offers a strong evolution path to 5G which is absolutely essential to enable full connected and automated driving in the future, while enabling a fast roll-out for many functionalities in the very short-term, utilizing existing cellular networks."
The 5GAA is a cross-industry association between the cellular and automotive industries to develop, test and promote communications solutions, initiate their standardisation and accelerate their commercial availability and global market penetration, to address society's connected mobility and road safety needs with applications such as automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart city and intelligent transportation.