Whither 5G or dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), the V2X connectivity debate rages on. Unless you’ve spent the last couple of years isolated in a cave, and perhaps even if you have, you know that V2X communication refers to the transfer of data between a connected vehicle and its surroundings, including other vehicles on the roadway, infrastructure, and even pedestrians. Currently, two standards support this communication: C-V2X, which is part of the 5G cellular mobile network standard, and DSRC, an open-source protocol based on 802.11p wireless LAN technology.
To eliminate having to predict which protocol will prevail, Harman International, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, developed a Dual-Mode V2X system that allows automakers to use over-the-air commands to select the standard that will be implemented on each vehicle. The technology thus eliminates compliance guesswork while improving road safety.
Harman’s Dual-Mode V2X system features software and hardware that can operate either with Harman’s telematics control units (TCUs) or as a standalone unit for vehicles utilizing separate TCUs. The dual-mode capability will be available for 2021 model-year vehicles.
By leveraging its relationship with Samsung for mobile technology as well as its TCU technology, “our offering provides automakers with the true flexibility needed, in order to support both modes without having to have custom solutions for each standard,” says Ram Iyer, Senior Engineering Director for Harman’s Telematics Business Unit.
Easier V2X Implementation
The availability of both DSRC and C-V2X will simplify design efforts for automakers looking to launch V2X features such as improved blind-spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, and traffic-sign recognition. It’s in this regard that advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS ) will increase their capacity to perform and inform.
For instance, messages will notify drivers of more than just accidents and traffic jams. They will have the capacity to include blind-intersection collisions, road condition hazards, road works, the presence of emergency vehicles, stationary or slow-moving vehicles, traffic jams and accident warnings, as well as traffic signals or signage indicators.
To help it meet the expected growth in demand for innovative connected-car solutions globally, Harman also announced an expansion to its automotive electronics manufacturing plant at Chakan, near Pune, in India. Established in 2014, the plant manufactures connected-car solutions, including automotive infotainment units for domestic and global automotive customers.
The Phase II expansion will triple its production capacity by the year 2021; Harman will install four new production/assembly lines, scaling from its existing two to six lines. In the next three years, production of digital cockpit units (DCUs) and TCUs from the Chakan plant will increase from its current 200,000 units to over 2.5 million units annually.