ZF Uses Autotalks’ V2X Chipset for Connectivity

Article By : Anne-Françoise Pelé

ZF Group has integrated Autotalks' V2X chipsets in its 2getthere autonomous shuttles.

Vehicles are more and more connected to other vehicles, road infrastructure, pedestrians, and data centers. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technology not only increases safety but also improves traffic and transportation efficiency. ZF Group announced it has integrated Autotalks’ V2X chipsets in its 2getthere autonomous shuttles. Initial deployment is planned in a large European airport.

Autonomous vehicles are gradually finding their way on the world’s roads, and V2X is the connectivity foundation of autonomous driving. “Autonomous vehicles operating in urban areas or closed zones like universities and airports need to communicate with traffic lights in order to support certain decisions,” Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks, told EE Times Europe. “V2X is a technology designed to enable vehicles to communicate with all road users.”

ZF Autonomous Shuttle
Source: ZF

2getthere, which was acquired by ZF Group in 2019, realizes automated transit applications, operating on either segregated infrastructures, dedicated lanes or in mixed traffic. Its autonomous shuttles are electric, driverless, travel from stop to stop and transport up to 22 people. They are also equipped with the ProConnect Telematic Control Unit (TCU).

Autotalks’ V2X chipsets, which are integrated into the ProConnect TCU, provide ZF’s 2getthere shuttles with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) capabilities to communicate with roadside units and interface with road infrastructure objects such as traffic lights. The communication with traffic lights avoids hazards and prevents accidents.

Zyss claimed Autotalks’ chipset is designed to meet the “toughest automotive-grade requirements”. He said, “It is one of a few components that can operate at 105°C. This allows great freedom of where to locate the device. For instance, it can be located very close to the top roof antenna and avoid long, costly cable installations that also involve signal degradations.”

Besides, “Autotalks’ devices are the only ones that include dedicated embedded hardware security elements allowing to avoid external security devices,” said Zyss, specifying that the company’s SoC provides “the most robust cybersecurity protection.”

Autotalks delivers dual-mode (DSRC and C-V2X) functionality. In 2018, Autotalks indeed launched what it claimed was the first global V2X solution supporting both DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) and the C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) direct communications in a single automotive-qualified chipset.

Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks

For years, DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) remained the only V2X technology available. While DSRC-based V2X has been deployed in Europe and Japan, C-V2X is gaining ground in other regions. In the US, thousands of Road Side Units are equipped with DSRC V2X, and OEMs are planning their deployment. The industry is watching the FCC as it plans to divide the allocated 5.9GHz band between V2X and WiFi. China, however, is moving ahead with the deployment of C-V2X. In 2020, Autotalks chipset was selected for a mass production C-V2X program in China.

“ZF joins several other leading players in the automotive industry who chose to work with us in order to implement the vision of autonomous driving and save lives on the roads,” Zyss commented.

Asked for precision, Zyss said most of the leading Tier1s in the industry (such as DENSO) are using Autotalks’ V2X communications technology.

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

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