Contact Us   

Technologies for Testing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Communication

Apr 14, 2024


As the automotive industry progresses towards more advanced self-driving capabilities and electrification, engineers are already looking ahead to introduce even more technology. Cars have reached an unprecedented level of self-communication, reading data from sensors and using it to improve vehicle safety through automatic emergency braking, for instance. The next level is having the car communicate with everything else. Vehicle-to-Everything communication, or V2X, could revolutionize personal transportation. However, it is far from easy, requiring advanced testing capabilities and robust data analytics.

Technologies for Testing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Communication

Vehicle-to-Everything Makes Testing Exponentially More Complex

Testing autonomous vehicle components and systems was already a complicated affair. Sensors poll at extremely high rates, and data must be processed quickly for a car to be able to make split-second decisions. Cameras can enable a system to recognize objects, useful for lane keeping assist features or stopping for a sudden pedestrian. However, once another vehicle is added to the equation, the number of variables skyrockets.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication is just one dimension to consider. Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) is another promising area within the greater V2X landscape. Some cities are already testing this technology by using smart traffic lights to communicate their status to vehicles. Audi has started implementing the technology and has even attached it to its cruise control to help cars get through as many green lights as possible before stopping. Like V2V, V2I also introduces new testing challenges for component manufacturers.

Testing Challenges to Overcome

Subcontractors and OEM partners need to be able to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancement in the automotive manufacturing industry. As car manufacturers call for more advanced features, they’ll need companies who can supply complete solutions: not just individual components like cameras or sensors. Companies will have to perform tests on the whole system and simulate a wide variety of scenarios to satisfy purchasers and regulators.

As the technology is relatively new, there are still quite a few issues to resolve before mass adoption can occur. However, by starting to implement better testing technology now, you can stay ahead of the development curve. It’s vital that your company start by digitizing its operations. Data capture, data management, and data processing are critical for effective modern testing. Simulated testing environments are also essential. Consider how these technologies can overcome some obstacles facing vehicle-to-everything technology.

Lack of Standardization

Currently, there is no clear single standard for intervehicular communications or V2I systems. However, engineers have proposed some standards that your company should try to focus on. DSRC/ITS-G5 relies on a new Wi-Fi standard (802.11p) to achieve communications between vehicles and other devices. Conversely, a competing standard known as C-V2X aims to provide similar connectivity using 5G networks, which are rapidly being installed worldwide.

These two systems are not interoperable, meaning that companies may need to be prepared to test both to satisfy orders from various manufacturers. However, as with many format wars in the past, one of these standards may emerge as the clear winner over time. Rather than bet on one or the other now, consider getting automated test equipment for both standards. Already, test bed sys​​​​tems exist that test the various wavelengths and their signal quality from a variety of angles.

Data Management and Processing 

Data management and data processing are also important to consider when implementing modern testing tools. Test beds can now output data at much higher frequencies and additional sensors allow for more variables to be measured. This data has to be captured and processed. Industry 4.0 technology can help to facilitate this process by streaming data from testing devices to central hubs, which then relay data to cloud-based servers. Once in the cloud, data can be processed in near-real time.

By analyzing this data in the cloud, you can get more accurate test results more quickly. With insights in hand, you can make the necessary modifications to your next round of tests in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days. Data analytics tools can also help you analyze business data to improve financial projections or reduce waste in your organization. A digital transformation goes beyond your industrial processes, and it’s a must for businesses to succeed.

Test Volume

The number of tests that need to be performed with vehicle-to-everything technology is much higher. Sensors need to be tested from a wide range of angles to determine their effective range and visibility. Similarly, a minimum signal strength has to be determined. Furthermore, systems need to simulate situations where signals could go out, for example losing GPS signal when passing through a tunnel. Add on the sheer variety of environmental factors and testing quickly becomes seemingly infinite.

Virtual testing is the solution. By creating a virtual environment that simulates the real world, engineers can get a fairly accurate idea of how vehicle sensors should respond in various circumstances. Developing these virtual test beds is challenging, but once you’ve created your virtual environment, you can run hundreds of tests simultaneously, and they can be repeated automatically. When combined with physical testing, you can greatly reduce the time it takes to perform all the tests your parts require.

Setting Up Automated Testing in Virtual Environments

Automated testing and the use of virtual environments takes time to implement. Your entire business needs to facilitate data capture and processing, and you need to engineer the right environments for virtual testing to take place in the cloud. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see a return on your investment. Today’s early adopters will be tomorrow’s success stories.

V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communications will transform the mobility industry to improve the safety and efficiency of vehicles and autonomous systems. For this application, V2X interfaces must conform to communication standards and RF regulations. These standards include 4G/5G cellular connectivity based on the 3GPP physical standard along with protocol, security, and other application standards from SAE, IEEE, and others. 

Automotive suppliers, device manufacturers, and others involved in the V2X technology require a test system that:

  • Adapts to the latest standards as cellular technology continues to rapidly evolve 
  • Supports physical, protocol, and application layer testing 
  • Provides and reliably executes conformance test procedures, defined by consortiums like the OmniAir Consortium®, to ensure interoperability with the V2X infrastructure and RF environment 
  • Includes an integrated GNSS emulator for time, location information, and synchronization, in addition to RF physical layer support 

SAAB RDS can provide a solution that integrates pre-made test catalogs that are immediately ready for execution, offering extensive conformance testing for Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communication. Its development capitalizes on years of expertise in Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, automotive integration, and a solid partnership with leading vendors. With its modular architecture, the solution not only meets current testing needs but also provides the flexibility to expand, supporting Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing or other measurement requirements within a broader road, traffic, or vehicle system context. Moreover, it offers customization options to align with specific customer demands and test infrastructure, ensuring a tailored approach to testing and integration.

To get started, contact SAAB RDS to schedule a meeting with one of our industry experts.