I originally investigated the potential synergies and resultant barriers and challenges for integrating public/commercial grade wireless communications in support of the “Connected Vehicle”, back in 2007. (then known as “Intellidrive”) A brief summary of the initial findings and a proposed architecture was presented in a blog post in August, 2011. Since the initial posting, the Connected Vehicle ecosystem has started to take shape and is gaining significant momentum on multiple fronts, including the automotive and telecommunications industries, as well as the Federal Government. As a result, I thought it might be of some value to revisit and update the hybrid communications framework originally proposed for the Connected Vehicle.
The primary attractiveness of commercial cellular continues to be maturity of technology and network coverage, including for most major urban areas, suburban areas and even significant coverage of rural areas. Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) is currently limited to approximately 1200 feet, line of sight, and will require significant investment in new infrastructure. Commercial wireless and Wi-Fi technologies continue to show promise for providing secondary, tier-two services associated with the Connected Vehicle.
Current Barriers and Limitations
Substantial limitations still remain. The prevailing barrier is communications latency with regards to minimum requirements associated with V2V and V2I. In addition, commercial cellular networks remain vulnerable to network congestion issues (peak periods), including denial of service and dropped calls. Also, cost remains a significant hinderance, as the Federal Government has taken the stance that automotive safety should be free to the end-user.