Bosch and Veniam develops a universal connectivity unit capable of communicating using all of the transmission standards implemented in connected automobiles. Cars can then use the Wi-Fi networks available in cities, while elsewhere they can communicate using, for instance, cellular networks. The complex task of managing these diverse communication options is handled by a software solution from the Silicon Valley-based start-up Veniam.
Hardware from Bosch; Software from Veniam
The software from Veniam continuously searches for the best transmission technology that suits the particular requirements and switches automatically between the available alternatives. The software therefore maintains continuous and seamless vehicle connectivity, ensuring cars to, for example, reliably alert one another to accidents and passengers while enjoying uninterrupted music streaming. The software communicates in real time using highly reliable technology that is always ready for use – even if that means the resulting data transmission costs are greater. Software updates from the cloud or a navigation system map update, on the other hand, can be put on hold in that sort of situation until a low-cost stationary Wi-Fi network becomes available.
Joao Barros, founder and CEO of Veniam said, “The unique combination of Veniam’s smart networking software and Bosch’s connectivity unit boosts the vehicle’s data-handling capacities dramatically, paving the way for innovative cloud services and much safer future mobility.”
It is expected that the number of connected vehicles on the roads in Europe, the United States, and China alone will exceed 470 million by 2025 (source: PwC). Initially, most vehicles will connect directly to the cloud; but, thanks to V2X, increasing numbers of vehicles will in future also be able to communicate directly with one another as well as with traffic signals, road construction sites, pedestrian crossings, and buildings among others. They will then be able to alert one another to potential hazards like the approaching tail end of a traffic jam, accidents, and icy conditions. Vehicles will also be able to take advantage of the green wave, because they will know when the next set of traffic lights is going to turn green. The vehicles can then adjust their speed accordingly. This ensures the traffic, particularly in cities, flows more smoothly.
One unit, global standard
However, there is no globally harmonised standard for V2X communication currently on the horizon. While China primarily uses Cellular-V2X technology (C-V2X), which is based on mobile communications, Europe and the United States are planning to additionally introduce transmission standards based on Wi-Fi (DSRC and ITS-G5) alongside C-V2X. A mishmash of standards is therefore emerging internationally, which may lead to vehicle communication issues. According to Bosch, when cars are equipped with their universal connectivity unit, equipped vehicles will be able to communicate with one another as well as with their surroundings regardless of the vehicle make or the country in which they are used. Thus, making V2X communication even more secure and reliable.
Testing waters before deployment
V2X will also be able to make driver assistance functions even more comfortable, like adaptive cruise control (ACC). A test that was carried out by Bosch this year showcased Wi-Fi-based DSRC technology, where equipped vehicles were provided with in-vehicle notifications about the status of traffic signals ahead and pedestrians crossing the street – functions designed to enhance safety in city traffic. ESCRYPT, a subsidiary in the Bosch Group, provided the cybersecurity technologies behind these V2X demonstrations. In China, Bosch is testing ad hoc communication using Wi-Fi as well as cellular technology. The tests are focusing on alerts that help the driver when overtaking or negotiating complex intersections.
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