V2X stands for Vehicle to Everything and to be specific, V2X technology connects vehicles to other vehicles (V2V), infrastructure (V2I), motorcycles (V2M) and pedestrians (V2P) within wireless range for safety and mobility applications. If you consider that the US Department of transportation (USDOT) is expected to publish a notice mandating the installation of V2X in new light vehicles, you can say that the technology is “hot”.
Autotalks, founded in 2008, is fully devoted to the automotive market, launching the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation V2X processor, supporting several wireless communication protocols: the WiFi “family”, or the well-known IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and IEEE802.11p communication, operating on the 5.9GHz band allocated for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications. We will see that IEEE802.11p is smart… and surprising!
As the communication link between the vehicles and the roadside infrastructure might exist for only a short amount of time, the IEEE 802.11p amendment defines a way to exchange data through that link without the need to wait for the association and authentication procedures to complete before exchanging data. For that purpose, IEEE 802.11p enabled stations use the wildcard BSSID (a value of all 1s) in the header of the frames they exchange, and may start sending and receiving data frames as soon as they arrive on the communication channel. That’s that I call a smart approach. But surprising… as the result is to remove the security associated with traditional WiFi protocol.
Because such stations are neither associated nor authenticated, the authentication and data confidentiality mechanisms provided by the IEEE 802.11 standard cannot be used. These kinds of functionality must then be provided by higher network layers. You can see an illustration of the various wireless communication on the picture below, where 802.11p is used for V2V or V2I communication, and UMTS IPv4/v6 for the higher network layer.
That’s why you need companies like Autotalks to re-insert security. This is done in the E2X communication processor with signature calculation according to Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) using keys which are 256 or 224 bits long. Each vehicle has many private-public key pairs, frequently changed for protecting vehicle user privacy. Each public key is distributed to surrounding vehicles in a certificate. That’s for security. Autotalks’ SoC also implement dual channel wireless protocols, supporting mobility-optimized IEEE802.11p communication, operating on the 5.9GHz band allocated for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications, along with IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac functionality.
The CEVA-XC communications processor enables Autotalks to implement the PHY layer and specific elements of the MAC layer on the DSP, allowing scalable V2X use cases. The implementation supports concurrent dual-channel operation, either two different IEEE802.11p channels or IEEE802.11p and IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac, as well as optimal IEEE802.11p diversity operation. The solution outperforms all SAE2945/1 requirements. The CEVA-XC also incorporates an innovative power scaling unit (PSU).
According with Amos Freund, VP R&D at Autotalks: “The CEVA-XC DSP enables us to deliver best-in-class performance, manifested in superior performance in high-mobility, and even greater functionality and power efficiency in a highly cost-effective V2X communications solution. IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac inclusion enables new use-cases such as dealership firmware update, vehicle-to-home synchronization and even meshes connectivity.” Don’t forget that Autotalks targets the automotive market, and should be able to provide a cost-effective solution, as this market is highly price sensitive.
In fact, managing V2X communication is one of the key requirements of an even more ambitious challenge, which is to make autonomous driving a reality. Autotalks is working with OEMs and Tier1s on multiple pre-development projects that extend the capabilities of autonomous driving.