No, it isn’t a new droid from the Star Wars ecosystem. C-V2X stands for cellular vehicle-to-everything technology, a new system which will allow vehicles to communicate with each other, as well as with pedestrians, cyclists and road infrastructure such as traffic lights. C-V2X promises to be one of the most important auto safety advances in the upcoming decades.
There are already myriad sensors and cameras in today’s vehicles, which warn us about road obstructions, lane keeping or avoiding accidents. C-V2X takes those warnings and notifies other users of the road, such as other drivers or cyclists or highway construction workers. For example, a highway worker may be notified when a vehicle is coming too close to where they are working. Or school buses could be warned if an oncoming vehicle isn’t stopping like they are supposed to. Or a cyclist and a truck driver could be alerted to each other’s presence before a fatal accident occurs. There are even some tests being carried out where cars can communicate with traffic lights, so you would have an indicator on your dashboard telling you when the light you are stopped at will be changing to green.
The alerts and warnings would be shown on your car’s dash, while non-drivers would see communications via a hand-held device or their smartphone.
Audi is spearheading work in C-V2X technology and expects to begin offering V2X in its 2025 models. Many other OEMs have started work as well, but there are still hurdles to overcome of course, beyond the simple fact that a critical mass of participants must be reached. One large one is getting on the same page with the F.C.C., since space for these communications must be allocated within the communications spectrum.
The good news is that this important safety feature is well down the road to being adopted – the benefits to society in preventing accidents and improving efficiency are so essential that you will be seeing C-V2X in your automobile before too long.