V2X should give importance to business models
Korea Would be The First Country to Prepare for Full 5G-V2X Package
2023년 05월호 지면기사  / 한상민 기자_han@autoelectronics.co.kr

Interview with Maxime Flament, the CTO of 5GAA

At the end of March, prior to 5GAA's F2F meeting in Korea, Ettifos demonstrated use cases for sensor sharing, such as 4K video and LiDAR data transmission and reception, using the 3GPP 5G Rel.16-based solution 'SIRIUS'. The showcase also demonstrated performance metrics, including latency and maximum throughput. Maxime Flament, the CTO of 5GAA, attended the showcase remotely and provided updates on the progress of 5GAA. I had a few conversations with Flament, the CTO.

written by Sang min Han
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Q. The 5GAA conference will be held in Seoul from May 9th, right? And this year, Korea plans to decide on the V2X communication standard. What does this conference mean for Korea and the international community?
A. Several 5GAA members are based in Korea, both large and small organisations like Samsung, LG but also Ettifos. 5GAA and its members meet every quarter for their WG Face-to-face meeting to share the latest progress on the ongoing work items. 5GAA is pleased to organise it next F2F quarterly week in Korea. We are expecting more than 150 experts from our 120 members. Indirectly, we hope this meeting will send a clear signal about the interest of the 5GAA community to promote C-V2X for widespread commercial deployment in the country. We are excited to see Korea at the forefront of implementing this life-saving technology. 
The meeting locations alternate between Europe, Asia, North America. Last time, 5GAA members met in Korea was in Jan 2019 during which we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITS Korea and 5G Forum. So it is natural that we come back after 4 years to this important automotive and telecom market. 

Q. As a highly experienced V2X professional who has worked with various players in the automotive and telecommunications industries on connected cars, automated driving, ITS, and V2X in institutions and organizations such as ERTICO and 5GAA, how does your career, experience, and leadership connect with the purpose of 5GAA, which can be summarized in four pillars? Can you tell me about the past seven years and the next seven years?
First, I am an engineer at heart with a PhD in mobile communications so this gives me a strong basis to understand how the telcos are working. Second, I have been involved in many early research and innovation activities on ITS, ADAS, navigation maps, connected and automated driving, etc. This gave me the perfect mix to work at 5GAA. As technology matured over the last 20 years, it was natural that an association like 5GAA was created to make things happen and take full benefit of the connectivity in the automotive and transport. All the ingredients are there: great technology and standards, a global expert community, and the “always connected” trends. We are not there yet but we are close… Being part of this journey is an incredible experience. Now we are increasing our focus on what 5G-V2X can deliver on top of LTE-V2X and this is mainly targeting higher automation level while making the functionalities smarter, safer and more comfortable. 


Q. Please tell us about the major activities of 5GAA and the obstacles that need to be addressed in the future. 
5GAA activities aim to create real market opportunities towards the deployment of connected vehicles. Of course, as our name says, we are focussing on mobile network standards from 3GPP, and this includes both radio access to the mobile network and directly between vehicles and road infrastructure. We could categorise our activities in fours association pillars: remove any market entry barriers for deployment of connected vehicles, Contribute to global and regional standards, Advocacy towards policy makers, and support innovation. One of our important publications is the C-V2X use case roadmap which shapes the overall 5GAA strategy and the work programme. 
In essence, I could say that the C-V2X technology is ready, spectrum regulations and regional policies are mostly supportive, investments and deployment have started with clear business potentials, and global demand for connected vehicles is increasing. 

Q. Regarding the global V2X communication standard competition, a Korean  said, “Europe is DSRC, the United States is 5G-V2X, and Korea will decide soon.” Do you agree? What are the market conditions you see?
 I would not agree about the European situation. Due to its good mobile network coverage, Europe was the first to start region-wide deployment of connected vehicles as of 2016. More than 95% of vehicles are being sold with an onboard connectivity. Talking about short range communication, only one vehicle manufacturer has adopted ITS-G5 (based on IEEE 802.11p). This will not be sufficient as its usefulness depends on penetration. As the band is license-exempt and technology neutral, we believe 5G-V2X, offering advanced driving promises, will become the technology of choice in Europe. 
In the US, there is convincing industry advocacy to permit deployment of short range LTE-V2X in the ITS band. The US industry is excited to deploy and has the safety of their end consumers in mind, and they want regulators to listen. Twelve companies, including automakers, their suppliers and two State DOTs have given a clear sign of their eagerness to deploy C-V2X short range by signing a Joint Waiver request at the FCC, requesting permission to deploy. This request was followed by more than ten other requests from state and local DOTs for the same, and more than 25 comments and letters of support for this waiver, signed by other road operators in the US, companies, and transportation stakeholders. This cross-industry, public and private show of support for ITS deployment has created a momentum that we have not witnessed before, and 5GAA is hopeful that these requests will reflect into final rules that will allow short range C-V2X in the ITS band. There is however one main issue: the US ITS band was reduced to only 30MHz which means there will not be so much space for 5G-V2X. Nevertheless, what is most important now is to get LTE-V2X on the US roads. 

The situation with Korea is much better. You still have the whole 60MHz and the government is getting ready to take a technology decision soon. This would be the first country to prepare for the full 5G-V2X direct package including both LTE-V2X for basic safety and NR-V2X for advanced driving applications. This is optimum. 
Link to the FCC proceeding on the 5.9 GHZ band 

Q. What does 5GAA's strategy mean for carmakers, road authorities, and digital users such as pedestrians and cyclists? What advantages does 5GAA have over other communication standards in this respect?
 5GAA sees three main factors enabling the digitalisation of transport: The vehicles, The users and The Roads. These are not stand-alone enabler; They need to materialise together. 5GAA works on the end to end mobility services that are enabled by these new technical trends. We unify automakers, telcos and everybody in between with one goal – to advance commercial deployment of connected vehicle solutions, and this implies the use of C-V2X. We are increasingly focused on its benefits for vulnerable road users, as they represent a majority of the road safety challenges. Our strategy takes into account the car driver that trusts his car when sharing the road with a cyclist, or when unseen obstacles are in the way. Similarly, for road authorities, connectivity solutions offer critical information for road management and traffic operations. Whatmore, this technology can be used for environmental sustainability and social inclusion, and we at 5GAA are looking at these topics with increased interest. 

Q. Can you tell me about a representative cooperative driving use case that is considered the most important, as well as a new one that you are looking forward to?
 It is difficult to name one single use case that motivates the deployment of C-V2X. It is exactly the diversity of use cases that makes the business case. A good illustration of this is in our use case roadmap which we have just updated. It is clear digitalisation of vehicles starts with its capability to update software and firmware remotely, to update high-definition maps, to monitor the vehicle health, to collect data for product evolution, to understand how advanced systems are used or misused etc. This is pure telematics. What’s new is when we use this same connectivity to increase driver awareness and collect data about road condition and local hazards, and even increase the perception capability of the vehicle sensing platform; for example, warning about a fast oncoming car or hidden pedestrian. Going another step forward, we can use connectivity to share trajectories or intentions like at a pedestrian crossing a road or at an intersection on a left turn, and, in some cases, agree on a given manoeuvre like on at a four-way stop or on a highway ramp to perform a lane merge. Some other use cases are attractive as they break the taboo of vehicle automation using commands from outside the vehicles like automated valet parking or tele-operated driving.   

Q. It is always important to consider the scale and penetration of technology. Currently, automakers in major countries such as Germany are pursuing level 3 automated driving from speeds of 60 km/h to 90 km/h and further to 130 km/h. How well can 5GAA's roadmap and timeline, PC5 Sidelink Direct Communication, and Deployment strategy support these auto-driving roadmaps?
 You mention Germany: it is a good example of how automation and connectivity are regarded in the forthcoming regulations. Any vehicles operating a higher level of automation known as SAE Level 4 will need to be connected to a mobile network at any give time. Connectivity will therefore become a prerequisite for any higher level of automation, and this will require the capabilities of 5G. Similarly, EuroNCAP foresees that V2X will be part of its car assessment programme as of 2029. So, we see a period from 2025 to 2027 where all technology will cristalise around the 5G connectivity that will contribute to the mass introduction of advanced driving features embedded in ADAS functionalities, and, by extension, leading to higher levels of automation. To be honest, the introduction of direct C-V2X communication will always be confronted to the hard reality of the equipped vehicle penetration, leaving apart roadside equipment. We can simply say that if all vehicle manufacturers equip their vehicle today, penetration would increase steadily by 4% per year and it would take around 12 years to get one out of two vehicles equipped on the roads. This is an eternity in communication technology, this is why we need to have a clear long term go-to-market strategy involving both direct and mobile networks starting with the introduction of LTE-V2X then steadily transitioning towards 5G-V2X if spectrum allows like, we hope, will be the case in Korea. 

Q. A few years ago, I talked to the Dutch authorities and they were testing LTE-V2X, completely excluding DSRC. Prior to Release 16, LTE-V2X had performance issues. What is the future of LTE-V2X, and can it be used together with other technologies? 
 For now, some road operators in Europe have decided to let the market mature before deciding to invest in direct communication with roadside equipment. While this would reduce the perceived day one benefit of such system, it is a good approach to let the industry decide what technology is best suited to connect vehicles. However, the Dutch authorities are a good example as they decided to embrace what is already adopted by the industry: the mobile network connectivity. They are focusing their efforts on the digitalization of road infrastructure, and, today, more than half of their intersection controllers are connected to a central management system that can deliver in real-time the status of the traffic lights as well as give priority to emergency services or to public transport buses. All this using a best effort approach based on 4G. 
Our last F2F Meeting was in the Hague and we were blown away by the ‘Dutch Efficiency’ approach. The Dutch and the Flemish authorities are showing to have very positive results from deploying LTE V2X ITS solutions with a concerted approach between public authorities, mobile network operators, data companies and publicly operated transportation services, such as emergency services vehicles. It really showed the rest of 5GAA membership from other regions how much can be achieved when: 1 the conditions are ripe for deployment and 2. Cooperation implies a win-win arrangement for everybody. There is a lot of importance to be given to business models, and the Dutch approach relies heavily on value proposals for both public authorities and commercial stakeholders. 

Q. Some people say that AVANCI licenses have a negative impact on LTE-V2X. What is your opinion on this?
 This does not sound right: all vehicle manufacturers are embracing 4G/5G connectivity. AVANCI represents one of the solutions to access the intellectual property rights licenses for automotive 4G/5G and this includes the mobile network and direct option. I have not received evidence that AVANCI is slowing down the market. 

Q. What does Ettifos's demonstration mean for 5GAA?
At 5GAA we are excited to see more SMEs drive innovation globally. Companies such as Ettifos represent a key segment in the market that drives innovation, competitiveness, better prices and enables public acceptance of new mobility solutions. We are proud that Ettifos is our member and are looking forward to talk more with Korean industries active in ITS technology at our F2F week in Seoul. 

AEM_Automotive Electronics Magazine

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