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Introducing the Internet of Vehicles

Technology and Business

Alice Salter

Alice Salter

15-03-2021

       

In this article, we investigate our hyper-connected future and ask:

  • What exactly is the Internet of Vehicles?
  • Will vehicles communicate with infrastructure?
  • What is vehicle to everything communication?

We may understand the concept of autonomous driving – we know how the tech is tested, where in the world we can find it in action and even have some pretty spot-on predictions for the changes autonomous vehicles (AVs) will bring. But talk of driverless cars often brings up bigger topics like the Internet of Vehicles, C-V2X, vehicle-road collaboration and more.

 

So, what does it all mean? Based on an article from our Chinese sister site, we’re breaking down all the most important terminology and exploring what these ideas and developments mean for our future.

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What is the Internet of Vehicles?

The Internet of Vehicles (IOV) is not a new concept. In fact, it has been discussed in tech-forward circles for well over a decade now, though it is yet to be realised. The idea comes from the more widely understood Internet of Things, but in the place of more general connected devices, vehicles in motion become the object of information perception and so the IOV describes a system in which all vehicles are connected.

 

With the help of a new generation of tech, it can establish network connections between vehicles and as a result improve the intelligence of smart and autonomous vehicles. Increased safety, comfort and efficiency are all potential, and widely predicted, benefits. The technology which would connect all vehicles would also enable us to better control traffic operation and so prevent long wait times or unexpected delays while travelling.

 

Unfortunately, plenty of obstacles have come up on the way of its development, and so the Internet of Vehicles has arguably made significantly less progress than we might have predicted a decade ago. But that has begun to change in recent years.

 

Across the world, many manufacturers have begun to implement C-V2X technology into their latest models – this is the starting point for the Internet of Vehicles. Ford, Audi and BMW, for example, have recently begun to focus on tech partnerships which will ultimately lead to more connected cars. In the future, a car becomes a mobile terminal connected to other vehicles and infrastructure. We can already see this happening with condition monitoring systems, analytics software and location-based services in the vehicles of today. That’s just the start of the developing Internet of Vehicles.

 


Interested in how connectivity will change the development of self-driving vehicles? Read our interview with 5G expert Phil Cottom


 

Will vehicles communicate with infrastructure?

The IOV promises a system in which every vehicle on the road will be able to communicate with each other, thus reducing accidents and increasing efficiency. The Intelligent Vehicle Infrastructure Road Cooperative System (IVICS) is the latest development in the direction of an intelligent transport system and suggests that the Internet of Vehicles could be expanded further.

 

Through the use of advanced wireless communication, which will most likely include 5G, this system aims to achieve real-time communication between vehicles and roads. This would allow full-time, spatial dynamic traffic information collection and could prove revolutionary. Carried out effectively, this system could achieve the effective coordination of people, vehicles and roads, ensure traffic safety, and improve traffic efficiency, thereby forming a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly road traffic system which is made possible through constant communication.

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What is vehicle to everything communication?

Vehicle to everything, often seen as V2X, describes information exchange between a car and the outside world. This is vital for any progress towards the Internet of Vehicles as it integrates GPS navigation technology, vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, wireless communication, remote sensing technology and more.

 

Through the application of V2X, passenger cars and commercial vehicles can obtain real-time traffic and road condition information, remind drivers to pay attention to potential safety hazards on the road, and enhance future safety assistance functions. In essence, V2X turns the car itself into the driver’s eyes as, using on-board sensors and camera systems, it can perceive the surrounding environment and make rapid adjustments.

 

Cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X) is an extension of this, encompassing both vehicle to vehicle and traditional cellular network communications. Varying existing cellular networks across the globe may make this tricky to implement on a global scale but integrating 4G and 5G networks into vehicle communication is thought to be a shared next step for manufacturers.

 

The realisation of the Internet of Vehicles requires strong communication capabilities as support. The advent of the 5G era provides low-latency, high-reliability, and large-capacity communication equipment for the Internet of Vehicles, making its development and application more reliable and rapid.

Thanks to the maturity and growing commercialisation of 5G technology, the Internet of Vehicles may usher in new development opportunities and result in large-scale deployment. In addition, the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data analysis provides a technical guarantee for the development of the Internet of Vehicles and provides greater development space for its practical application. Taken all together, that might just mean we don’t have too long to wait.

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