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Saturday, May 21, 2011

NXP demonstrates new 'car-to-anything' IEEE802.11p comms platform

Car-to-x (C2X) communication on a public road in Holland
By Nick Flaherty

Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors has demonstrated car-to-x (C2X) communication on a public road in the Netherlands. With this demo, NXP is the first semiconductor company to take the step from showing concepts to actually demonstrating an automotive-ready hardware platform for connected mobility. 
NXP has co-developed the C2X platform with Australian-based Cohda Wireless to combine telematics for location-based services and networking security so that the car can communicate with kerb-side and wide area systems and other cars.
The C2X communication uses the IEEE802.11p wireless standard designed specifically for automotive applications. This allows cars to communicate with each other (car-to-car) as well as with intelligent traffic infrastructure (car-to-infrastructure) around them. The C2X platform from NXP and Cohda picks up information from other cars and static traffic systems so that drivers receive early warnings of cars hidden from sight behind trucks or approaching from around corners. Other use cases are warnings about emergency vehicles and traffic jams, or traffic light signals allowing drivers to adjust their speed and optimize driving.
The C2X platform is able to meet the requirements of the automotive industry: reliable signal reception for fast-moving objects even in difficult surroundings, cost-efficient design, and flexible programming. It uses Cohda’s 802.11p patented radio reception algorithms and is based on NXP’s multi-standard radio reception platform.
NXP is project leader of the Dutch SPITS research project (SPITS: Strategic Platform for Intelligent Transport Systems) and  is also demonstrating intelligent traffic data analysis from the in-vehicle networks, as well as emergency and breakdown calls based on NXP’s telematics module, ATOP.
“Connecting the car to the environment demands in-depth expertise in secure connectivity, Software-Defined Radio architectures, and telematics," said Kurt Sievers, senior vice president and general manager of the Automotive business at NXP Semiconductors. "The SPITS project has been extremely valuable for us as it brought experts and research partners from all parts of the value chain together all working towards the same goal: efficient and sustainable mobility solutions.”

About SPITS project

The Strategic Platform for Intelligent Transport Systems (SPITS) project has three main areas: traffic management and safety, concepts for open in-car platform, and downloadable services. SPITS was aimed at creating an open and affordable intelligent transport system platform, which is scalable, secure and real-time. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has subsidised the project. The consortium is lead by NXP Semiconductors and consists of eight companies (NXP, TomTom, TNO, Logica, Catena, Task24, Foutress, GreenCat), one research institute, and four universities. 
The SPITS system comprises the vehicle on-board unit (OBU), the Road Side Unit (RSU) infrastructure, and the Back Office (BO) service centre. Communications between these elements is a major part of the Strategic Platform. After the SPITS project officially ends, consortium members will continue to refine the SPITS results for commercial use across Europe and beyond. These projects represent an investment by the Government to retain key knowledge from R&D companies within the Netherlands, following the economic crisis.
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