Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology is widely regarded by industry experts as a promising solution to improve road safety and achieve full autonomous driving in the long run. However, to establish a functional and interoperable V2X ecosystem, all stakeholders must be on the same page. This article dives into the current V2X deployment progress in Europe and what to expect in the near future.
Europe is often seen as an optimal testbed for V2X technology and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), not only because the continent has some of the world’s most developed and well-maintained road networks, but also because it is home to dozens of road transport operators and has the highest concentration of global automotive OEMs.
As a promising strategy for achieving Vision Zero, V2X deployment has been on the agenda in Europe since the early 2010s. To facilitate the rollout of C-ITS, European Member States and road infrastructure operators joined forces to establish the C-Road Platform, a joint initiative to establish an integrated and interoperable C-ITS network that spans across European borders.
In the private sector, many automotive OEMs have been integrating V2X onboard units (OBU) into their new vehicles. As one of the early adopters, Volkswagen has equipped V2X OBUs in its entire ID. electric vehicle lineup. BMW recently announced plans to deploy V2X technology in its vehicles for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bidirectional charging. Mercedes-Benz also has plans to deploy V2X, but has been so far promoting its cloud service as a medium to provide real-time vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) warnings.
However, despite all these efforts, we haven’t yet seen any large-scale V2X use cases on the continent. This raises many questions. How developed is V2X technology? Where is Europe on the V2X deployment roadmap? What are some of the challenges the industry is facing? What can we expect years down the road?
Is V2X technology ready for commercial use?
This would have been tough to answer in the past few years. But as of 2023, V2X technology is fully ready for implementation and commercial use. The reliability and safety of the technology have been repeatedly validated at cross-industry interoperability tests, with AUTOCRYPT being a major contributor to message security. A lot of roadside equipment is now V2X capable. And many OEMs have equipped their vehicles with V2X OBUs.
Where is Europe on the V2X deployment roadmap?
Europe is now entering an early stage of commercial V2X deployment. Still, to operate V2X services on a large-scale, more OBUs and RSUs need to be deployed. This can take up to a decade because consumers will keep their older cars for many years before upgrading. Time is also needed for road operators to install RSUs into their roadside equipment.
At this stage, is V2X deployment only a matter of time? The reality is more complicated. There remain a few challenges that are preventing OEMs and road operators from rolling out V2X at full speed.
What challenges does the industry face?
1. The divide between DSRC and C-V2X: into the hybrid era
The biggest challenge that has been slowing down V2X deployment was a lack of agreement among industry players on the communication protocol. The debate between the WLAN-based DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) and the LTE and 5G-based C-V2X (cellular V2X) has significantly slowed down the implementation of V2X. Each industry player has their own stance and preference, leading to an ongoing rivalry between the two technologies.
As of 2023, North America and China have mostly agreed on using C-V2X as the de facto V2X communication protocol, phasing out DSRC. However, Europe remains largely divided. Whereas Volkswagen uses DSRC for its vehicles, BMW and Daimler have both been in favour of C-V2X.
Fortunately, this divide is becoming less of an obstacle. Seeing that the European industry isn’t likely to reach a consensus anytime soon, V2X hardware providers, software suppliers, and cybersecurity providers like AUTOCRYPT have developed solutions compatible with both protocols so that industry players can continue V2X deployment without having to worry about compatibility.
Nevertheless, since DSRC and C-V2X are not meant to be interoperable at the fundamental access layer, more sophisticated hardware and additional development efforts are needed for dual compatibility. As such, although this hybrid approach can help the industry overcome its immediate interoperability issues, it is by no means an optimal solution in the long run. Many experts predict that one of the two protocols will eventually die off, ending the hybrid era.
2. A lack of incentives
Another obstacle that has been slowing down V2X deployment is the lack of incentives. In most conventional markets, the first mover often gains a competitive advantage because clients and consumers tend to associate the new idea or technology with the brand, just like how Tesla is strongly associated with electric vehicles and Uber with ride-hailing platforms. However, this kind of first-mover advantage is not present in the V2X market, because the full benefit of V2X can only be realized after multiple OEMs and road operators deploy them. Although Volkswagen equipped V2X into the ID. lineup, consumers haven’t been able to experience any significant benefits and thus no association is formed between V2X and the ID. brand.
Under such circumstances, governments and regulators must incentivize early adopters to accelerate V2X deployment. As of now, the idea of regulating V2X is still in debate. But with the joint effort of governments and several industry associations, more and more incentives are beginning to surface.
For instance, Europe’s new car assessment program, Euro NCAP, announced in its 2025 Roadmap that beginning in 2024, all new cars must be equipped with V2X connectivity to receive a five-star safety rating. This move will serve as an effective incentive for OEMs to deploy V2X in their vehicles on a large scale. The Euro NCAP further explained in the report that it chose this timing because it expects all technical uncertainties to be resolved by 2024.
3. Demand uncertainty
Currently, the public has very limited knowledge about V2X technology and its potential. In fact, many have never heard of the technology. This leads to uncertainty in market demand, as it’s hard to gain a grasp of demand when consumers haven’t been informed about the supply.
This isn’t to say that there will be a lack of demand. The potential demand for V2X is immense, given that consumers have always had strong desires for safety and convenience, both of which V2X has a lot to offer. Therefore, the question is not whether there is enough demand, but whether consumers are educated enough to understand how V2X can fulfill these demands. In the end, industry players must not only invest in the technology itself, but also in promoting the benefits of the technology by establishing innovative services and attractive consumer offerings.
What can we expect in the future?
Overall, V2X technology is now nearing the end of its testing stage and ready for large-scale development. Most of the challenges and obstacles that have slowed down V2X deployment over the past few years are now resolved. With more and more incentives, we can expect to see a kickstart to full-scale V2X deployment beginning in 2024.
For a more detailed analysis of the current progress and future prospects of V2X, download the full white paper below:
As one of the top five V2X security providers in the world (recognized by Markets & Markets), AUTOCRYPT has always maintained a position ahead of the market in terms of technology and innovation. Not only does its V2X security module support both DSRC and C-V2X, but its Security Credential Management System (SCMS) is fully compatible with all three major standards in the world, including the US SCMS, EU CCMS, and Chinese C-SCMS. To prepare OEMs for full-scale deployment, it released its Integrated Management System (IMS) for SCMS, allowing OEMs to manage millions of vehicle certificates on a single dashboard.
To learn more about AUTOCRYPT’s V2X security solutions and AutoCrypt SCMS, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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