C-V2X: A New Era of Smart Transportation in the United States [White Paper]
Delivering transformational benefits in road safety, enhancing environmental sustainability, creating new jobs, and advancing transportation equity.
We certainly love our cars — we celebrate driving in books, movies, and music. But our transportation system faces challenges in the immediate and long-term future — potholes in the road ahead. These challenges include finding ways to increase safety and control costs, while simultaneously building towards a transportation future that is sustainable, equitable, and aligned with long-term economic growth.
Fortunately, at the heart of the automotive industry lies a historied and vibrant culture of innovation. And one particular innovation — cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology — has the potential to move us forward in addressing many of these challenges.
In our digital society, devices talk to each other. From the key fob that opens your apartment door to your tablet that accesses the Internet, we live in a connected world. Increasingly, our cars are no exception. C-V2X technology will let our cars talk to each other and the world around them.
Designed specifically for transportation, C-V2X supports direct, low-latency communication between vehicles (V2V), roadside infrastructure (V2I), and vulnerable road users (VRUs) like pedestrians (V2P) to inform safety-critical and mobility-enhancing applications. When complemented by cellular networks (V2N), C-V2X makes transportation systems and the entire supporting ecosystem safer and more efficient.
When vehicles are connected to everything around them, road users and infrastructure can coordinate their actions to make travel safer — reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Because crashes and other non-recurring incidents cause approximately half of all traffic congestion, enhancing vehicle safety also enhances the throughput efficiency of our transportation infrastructure, which directly results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Connected transportation systems support roadside and driver services that mitigate roadway incidents and improve trip planning, transportation mode choice, and traffic efficiency — enhancements that also lower emissions and reduce fuel consumption. Examples of such services include real-time route guidance to bypass congestion, and adjusting vehicle dynamics for lower emissions and fuel use.
Although C-V2X will bring considerable safety, mobility, and environmental benefits to all regions across the globe, let’s focus for a moment on the impact C-V2X can have in the United States. In the US, deployment of C-V2X will boost economic activity as stakeholders invest in new infrastructure, increasing demand for technical and professional labor. It will create an estimated 120,000 American jobs in developing new products, applications, services, and smart infrastructure. The effects will be felt by a broad range of players across all economic sectors, geographies, and skill levels, from auto workers to chipset designers.
But for Americans to realize the myriad of benefits that C-V2X has to offer, the federal government must demonstrate leadership by working with public and private transportation industry stakeholders to develop and implement a national plan for C-V2X deployment. Automakers, state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and local agencies are eager to deploy connected vehicle technology. But progress towards C-V2X in the U.S. has been stalled by regulatory delays. Meanwhile, other countries are pushing forward and increasing investment in this critical technology.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, with more than $1 trillion in funding for projects that incorporate new and innovative technologies. Several IIJA funding programs specifically make C-V2X eligible. These funding opportunities are timely, as 10 states and several major cities, including New York City, have filed requests to deploy C-V2X technology with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The IIJA can serve as a catalyst for nationwide deployment of this life-saving technology, but only if the FCC acts expeditiously to allow deployments to move forward.
With greater federal government leadership, we can soon be on the road to a future of safer, more economical, and more sustainable transportation – with C-V2X leading the way.