China is set to add 30 million new V2X-enabled vehicles to the road every year by 2034, according to IDTechEx’s report, “Connected and Software-Defined Vehicles 2024-2034: Markets, Forecasts, Technologies”, as part of a wider global trend that will see V2X technology become the standard in most vehicles.
The future connected vehicle does not just use a standard smartphone cellular connection but also takes advantage of dedicated ‘V2X’ safety communication channels. V2X, which stands for Vehicle-to-Everything, uses either Wi-Fi or cellular-based technology to facilitate communication with other vehicles and traffic infrastructure. If regulation or safety standards mandate this technology, then V2X is set to become the ‘digital seatbelt’ of the future, promising to reduce accidents, improve congestion, and reduce emissions globally by allowing vehicle safety systems to talk to each other and to city traffic infrastructure, even in the pouring rain, dense fog, or busy carparks.
The two most popular technologies for V2X, DSRC, and C-V2X, both require different hardware. DSRC is based on Wi-Fi protocols, and C-V2X is based on 4G or 5G protocols. Currently, there are approximately 1 million V2X-connected vehicles on the road globally, with those mainly concentrated in Europe and China. About half the market is using DSRC-based technology (The Volkswagen Golf 8 and ID.X vehicles are equipped with ITS-G5 (EU DSRC equivalent) in Europe, known as Car2X), and the other half of the market is using C-V2X technology, with most of these vehicles being available in China. IDTechEx is forecasting a significant market shift towards C-V2X technology, with over 90% of the market forecasted to be using 5G-based C-V2X technology by 2034. The biggest contribution to this shift is regulation – the two largest vehicle markets in the world, the US and China, both have governmental organizations actively pushing for C-V2X adoption and have formally abandoned DSRC technology. India, Korea, and Japan are all likely to follow international trends set by the US and China. The EU is a region that is officially technologically neutral but has a strong existing DSRC/ITS-G5 base. The EU will likely maintain technology neutrality, and some C-V2X module providers are offering ‘Dual RAT’ systems that support both C-V2X and Wi-Fi-based V2X technology, meaning DSRC will maintain some market share globally. DSRC+, based on newer Wi-Fi technologies, may impact the market, but IDTechEx’s analysis concludes that technology improvements may be too little, too late, and DSRC is a technology that has much less momentum compared to C-V2X. More