It is worthy of excitement to know that the full implementation of 5G technology can bring new opportunities and development to autonomous driving technology and even the automotive industry. In this post, our focus shall be on 5G Technology and the automotive industry vis-a-vis how it can contribute to autonomous driving.
Overview of Traffic Accidents Before the Advent of 5G
According to statistics, about 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents each year. More than 90% of these fatal accidents are caused by human error, which is equivalent to 7 planes with 500 passengers crashing every day.
Many companies started the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and fully automated driving systems eventually. For autonomous driving technology, in addition to reducing the driver’s travel burden, it can also help to improve traffic safety.
The full implementation of 5G technology will further promote the development of autonomous driving technology, which will help to break through the current bottleneck from Level 2 to Level 3.
How to Properly Define an Automated Driving System
An autonomous driving system is actually an ecosystem of integrating multiple advanced technologies. This ecosystem includes:
- Sensor fusion technology: including radio detection and ranging (RADAR), light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and optical sensor (camera)
- High-speed information system: integrated automotive Ethernet network, combined with powerful signal processing, high-precision (HD) navigation maps, and artificial intelligence technology (AI).
- Multi-channel communication system: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-network (V2N), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2U), and ultimately vehicle-to-vehicle (V2U) V2X).
On one side, sensor fusion technology and artificial intelligence provide the underlying technical support for safe and reliable autonomous driving systems.
At the same time, we need wireless communication technology to ensure the smooth flow of information within the entire ecosystem. The entire ecosystem reduces risk by sharing and receiving critical information. This includes information on vehicles, pedestrians, traffic, and road conditions. See the schematic above.
Secondly, various sensors are equivalent to the vehicle’s senses. Artificial intelligence technology constructs the vehicle’s brain to make judgments, and wireless communication technology is equivalent to the sensory system that transmits signals.
Multiple communication methods relying on wireless communication technology
Advantages of Wireless Communication for Autonomous Driving:
- Build a safer road environment
- Provide more efficient traffic routes
- Higher vehicle convenience
To achieve these benefits, wireless communication technology uses a variety of communication methods, such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-network (V2N), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P), vehicle-to-grid ( V2G), and ultimately the V2X.
Autonomous Driving 5G Wireless Communication Technology Communication Methods
In this section, I shall be explaining one after the other the various Auto-Pilot wireless communication methods.
1. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
Vehicle-to-vehicle direct communication, real-time sharing of vehicle condition and road condition information eliminating busy spots as much as possible, and improving visibility. V2V allows two or more vehicles in the fleet to be connected to form a fleet (Platooning).
In other words, V2V is the basis for the cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC). A collaborative adaptive cruise uses V2V technology to share the information of the vehicle in front to the vehicle in the back.
The coordination between vehicle information replaces the driver’s reaction judgment, which reduces the vehicle’s reaction time. With 5G, the appropriate operation can be performed more quickly and accurately. This will, in turn, reduce the probability of traffic accidents and improving fuel economy to a certain extent.
In order to better share information through V2V, wireless communication needs to exhibit very low latency. Obviously, this is something 5g offers.
2. Vehicle-to-network (V2N)
Vehicles communicate through a wireless network infrastructure consisting of base stations and use remote radio heads (RRH) to share real-time traffic information.
Apart from this, V2N is also used to call SOS services (such as eCall and ERA-GLONASS) and perform remote diagnosis and maintenance. Unlike V2V, reliability is more important in V2N than delay.
3. Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I)
Thirdly, vehicles can communicate with roadside traffic lights and other infrastructure to share information such as traffic signal change notifications, road signs, street lights, road condition warnings, cross-road collision warnings, crosswalk warnings, etc.
To make such V2I communications seamlessly connect, a considerable number of access points must be deployed in the roadside infrastructure.
4. Vehicle to pedestrian (V2P)
Vehicle to pedestrian communication. Warn pedestrians when they cross the road. Under low visibility weather conditions, pedestrians use mobile communication devices and can make vehicles better aware of the presence of pedestrians through V2P.
Under the Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) method, Vehicles communicate with the grid to help electric or hybrid vehicles recharge during the most economic off-peak hours, or resell stored electricity to power companies.
Advantages and Limitations of the Existing V2X Technology
Two existing wireless communication technologies: dedicated short-range communication technology (DSRC) and 4G cellular LTE —are being used in current automotive wireless communications. However, the technical limitations of these two communication methods will affect the performance of the automatic driving system in actual working conditions.
Also, neither communication method can provide gigabit/second data rates, high-speed mobile support, mass machine communication, and ultra-reliable low latency.
Comparison of Dedicated Short-Range Communication Technology (DSRC) and 4G cellular LTE
Both can communicate with V2X, but they cannot satisfy all functions. DSRC is built on three standards: IEEE 802.11p physical layer standard, American Vehicle Environment (WAVE) protocol 1609 wireless access standard, and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) TC-ITS European standard.
The two main advantages of 802.11p DSRC are fast adaptability and low latency (5 ms) for the automotive industry. Based on the mature Wi-Fi 802.11a technology, IEEE approved the 802.11p specification in 2010.
Many car manufacturers who want to deploy V2X (especially V2V and V2I) communications now prefer 802.11p. DSRC because it is based on ad-hoc communication and does not depend on network infrastructure services.
However, 802.11p requires the installation of many new access points (APs) and gateways, increasing the time and cost of full deployment. Because it is based on free Wi-Fi technology, it is difficult to find operators willing to pay the cost of deploying APs without a clear license and a mature business model. And the technology has no clear possibility of continued development.
Similarly, Cellular V2X (C-V2X) has only recently appeared. The recent 3GPP Release 14 defines some C-V2X specifications based on LTE technology (also called LTE-V). LTE-V supports automotive wireless communications, V2N networks, and device-to-device (D2D) communication of V2V and V2P.
A major advantage of C-V2X is that it uses the existing cellular network infrastructure to provide better security, a longer communication range, and a technological evolution path from 4G to 5G or even higher.
However, the current LTE-V on the 4G LTE network does not provide the low latency required for critical V2V communication because its delay time varies from 30ms to 100ms.
How 5G Can Improve V2X and Autonomous Driving Systems
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R) in the field of radio communication lists 5G three main use scenarios 5G-
- Enhanced mobile gigabit broadband
- High-density machines connected to the network
- Low latency and ultra-high reliability (99.999%) communication
The specifications in these scenarios have significantly changed the experience of using an automated driving system by providing the peak data rate, latency, spectrum efficiency, and connection density required by the automated driving system.
3 Main Scenarios for 5G Uses
- ·Ultra-low latency of 1 ms at transmission speeds up to 500 km/h (310 mph).
- A high peak data rate of 20 Gbps at transmission speeds up to 500 km/h (310 mph).
- High density can connect 1,000,000 connected cars and equipment.
Changes That Full 5G Implementation Will Bring to Automotive Industries
From a vehicle perspective, the application of 5G technology will bring the following changes:
1. The ultra-low latency of 5G will play a key role in Communication between cars
For example, in the case of sudden braking, the safety functions of the automatic driving system and ADAS immediately warn the following vehicles in real-time to prevent a serial collision.
In addition, low-latency 5G can provide better accident prevention functions; especially in the case of non-line of sight (NLOS).
Also, since autonomous driving systems rely heavily on cameras, sensor fusion technology of LIDAR or RADAR can only detect objects in the line of sight (LOS). Studies have shown that most drivers need 700 milliseconds to respond to dangerous situations by taking avoidance or preventive measures. The self-driving car based on 5G communication only needs 1 millisecond.
Especially Relvant: Toyota Creates an Alternative Unmanned cars: a “Smart” Driver Assistance
2. 5G will Provide Data to the Autonomous Driving Navigation System at a very fast speed
5G’s fast and reliable data connection will allow complex 3D maps to be downloaded in near real-time. In addition to sensor fusion technology, autonomous vehicles also rely heavily on accurate and highly detailed 3D maps for navigation.
However, storing huge map datasets at the state or country level of the vehicle itself will be a challenge. A natural solution is to use a 5G data connection to download the latest 3D maps nearby. Thereby solving the data storage problem.
3. 5G will Soon be Used in Automotive Applications
5G has a peak data rate of up to 20 Gbps, enabling real-time video and audio entertainment in autonomous vehicles. From the realization of multiple human-computer interaction functions, to satisfy consumers’ pursuit of “immersive third space” of vehicles in the future.
5G Technology and the Automotive Industry: The Conclusion
Behind 5G technology, there is an opportunity to change the traditional industry with a huge output value.
This changes will also usher in a new travel experience for consumers. And in 2020, it is an important node for this transformation to begin.