Tag Archives: Wi-Fi

Renesas, Murata and Ubiquitous colaborate on In-Car networking

Renesas Electronics, Murata Manufacturing and Ubiquitous Corporation have started a technological collaboration on development of high-speed network connection technology targeting the IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) market, which is expected to expand in coming several years led by the progress of IT and networking and the accelerated adoption of cloud computing system.

With the explosive spread of smartphones, there is a growing demand for network servicing also in automotive environment. Amidst this situation, standardization of connection between smartphone and IVI is in progress and such technology is assumed to be more complex and high performance in the near future. Therefore in the state-of-the-art IVI platform, high-performance network OS (operating system) originally used in information system is more likely to be adopted instead of the OS dedicated to embedded system.

Although these general-purpose, high-performance OS require certain amount of time for activation, quick start-up of the system is strongly demanded for quick display of back camera or quick output of radio sound. Assuming that high-speed Wi-Fi linkup between IVI and smartphone would be essential for comfortable use of in-car network servicing, Renesas, Murata and Ubiquitous have come to collaborate in creating a platform solution leveraging their advantages of respective technologies.

IVI Network Support

As the popularity of the smartphone grew rapidly, adoption of in-car network servicing system has been eagerly considered. Meanwhile, implementation of Wi-Fi system to IVI is about to go into stride and the average annual growth rate of the implementation is expected to grow rapidly. Some of the smartphones now comply with the IEEE802.11ac, the next-generation standard succeeding the IEEE802.11n, and the IEEE802.11ac standard is now expected to be adapted to automotive environment. The high-speed throughput realized by the IEEE802.11ac standard not only contributes to a comfortable network servicing, but also enhances automotive infotainment system by enabling smooth replay of movie contents such as Miracast. Moreover, the IEEE802.11ai standard is expected to play a part in improvement of user convenience with quick initial connection and authentication.

Combining Renesas’ automotive SoC, the “R-Car” which holds the world’s No.1 share in automotive infotainment market, Murata’s Wi-Fi module and driver software, which attains the No.1 share worldwide and Ubiquitous’ high-speed activation solution and wireless communication software technology that are widely adopted in automotive devices, the companies aim to offer a platform solution for comfortable network servicing by realizing quick activation of the IVI system while supporting the latest standard , Renesas, Murata, and Ubiquitous intend to contribute to expansion of IVI market by providing this user-friendly and easy-to-use platform solution.

Source: Renesas


Faster broadband coming to planes, trains and ships as UK eyes spectrum changes

The UK is looking to open up spectrum currently used by satellite Earth stations for vehicle-mounted stations that could boost broadband capacity in aircraft, ships and trains.

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom is hoping to spur innovation in mobile broadband services by making it easier for satellite operators to use ‘Earth stations on mobile platforms’ (ESOMPs) to deliver passenger broadband.

Ofcom has proposed (PDF) three frequency bands that operators could apply for to support mobile Earth stations mounted on aircraft, ships or other land-based vehicles.

While alternative technologies are already used to provide wi-fi on board in transport, the regulator believes the spectrum could be used to provide links with higher capacity and spur a new market for mobile communications.

Several satellite operators are planning to launch commercial satellite networks in 2013 and 2014 that support the use of mobile earth stations transmitting in the 27.5GHz to 30GHz range, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom also points out that recent advances in stabilised antenna technology make it possible for earth station antennas to track a satellite in orbit even when it’s mounted on a fast moving platform.

While there was a risk the mobile Earth stations could cause interference to other fixed site satellite networks, Ofcom considered that risk “very low”. With the appropriate controls, the mobile stations would cause no more interference than fixed-site earth stations, it said.

It also notes that the aircraft and ship-mounted Earth stations can already operate in international airspace and waters, but that parts of these frequency ranges are used by terrestrial radio systems in some countries. That’s why Ofcom was proposing frequency ranges that are already authorised for satellite Earth station applications, such as the permanent Earth stations and high density fixed-satellite services.

Key proposals Ofcom is seeking feedback on under a public consultation are:

  • Radio equipment for land-based ESOMPs should be exempted from the need to have a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 licence
  • Radio equipment for aircraft and ship mounted ESOMPs should be licensed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 rather than licence-exempt
  • Licensing of aircraft-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the aircraft radio licence issued on Ofcom’s behalf by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with no additional fee
  • Licensing of ship-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the ship radio licence with no additional fee.

The deadline for stakeholders to respond to the proposal is 10 October 2013 and Ofcom expects to release a statement on the consultation in December.

Source: Liam Tung ZDnet

Topics: Broadband, United Kingdom, Wi-Fi

Smartphones, ADAS and the connected car

Smartphones, ADAS and the connected car


A new system being developed by General Motors explores how pedestrians’ smartphones could be used to alert drivers to potential collisions. And the broader automotive community is taking note.

Automakers like Volvo and Toyota have unveiled pedestrian detection in the last few years, but those systems are based on refinements to in-car accident avoidance systems, such as vehicle-embedded cameras and radars.

In GM’s case, an app on a pedestrian’s smartphone transmits location information via Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer wireless standard that allows devices to connect directly without a remote access point, much like Bluetooth.

Wi-Fi chipsets in nearby vehicles receive the signal, and onboard notifications—a flashing directional arrow on a console display, in one GM demonstration—alert the driver to the presence of pedestrians or bikers in the area.

“So many people carry cell phones today,” says Don Grimm, senior researcher at General Motors, “and Wi-Fi Direct doesn’t require a hardware change. Pretty much any Wi-Fi chipset that’s out there today, if the vendor provides a driver for it, can operate as a Wi-Fi Direct device.”

Lower entry to ADAS

Deployment of the system is still about four years out, but already major car manufacturers like GM are getting serious about using smartphone technology to augment existing safety features on vehicles and to lower the barriers to entry of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for consumers.

Smartphones may soon play integral roles in getting vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems off the ground as well, analysts say.

One reason is that automakers see huge cost advantages to leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones to bring the latest technology into vehicles. That’s the logic driving Ford’s Sync App Link, Mercedes-Benz’s DriveStyle app and BMW’s ConnectedDrive, tools that put the smartphone in the technological driver’s seat.

“I think some of the promise with wireless communication is the opportunity to bring some of these safety features to volume vehicles,” Grimm says. “We can bring the safety systems of our Cadillac cars to our Chevy fleet.”

Roger Lanctot, associate director in the global automotive practice at Strategy Analytics, sees potential in Grimm’s goal. 

“The idea of enabling an enhanced safety experience in a car by virtue of enabling communication between a driver’s mobile device and the roadside or other cars is a compelling and proven proposition,” he says. “It’s proven for tolling and proven for traffic, and there are existing solutions. It’s early days, but I think the technology exists to enhance safe and efficient driving using mobile-device connectivity.”

What about DSRC?

GM is currently considering ways that smartphones can complement dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) technology to create feature rich V2V and V2I systems.

DSRC, a short- to medium-range communication band reserved for automotive use, is being put through its paces in testing in the United States and Europe as the industry moves closer to a fully connected vehicle.

In Europe, where V2I deployment is being pushed more stridently than in the United States, there are test beds where work zone warnings are already being communicated via DSRC. The largest trial in the United States is underway in Ann Arbor, where nearly 3000 vehicles have been outfitted with DSRC devices. That trial will wrap up later this year.

But ramping up V2V and V2I will take time, and using DSRC as the band of choice is far from a foregone conclusion. “There are some clouds on the horizon,” Lanctot warns.

Most significant among these is the possibility of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowing the sharing of the 5.9 GHz DSRC band, which could raise serious concerns about signal interference.

This leaves OEMs like GM unsure which way the connected vehicle winds will blow a few years down the line. And rather than rolling out feature-rich systems and risk deploying expensive technology that doesn’t get used, Grimm is dreaming up ways to put minimal DSRC equipment into vehicles and leaving the rest to the smartphone.

DSRC light

A DSRC chipset embedded in a vehicle might serve as a gateway between the driver’s smartphone and an external DSRC signal from another vehicle or the roadside.

“I could download a mobile app on my phone,” Grimm says. “Say I want to be notified about severe potholes or situations where someone slipped on a patch of black ice. The application would run, the vehicle portion of the system would broadcast out its location and some status information. Likewise, the vehicle would receive information from other communicating vehicles. If there was a vehicle ahead that went over a severe pothole, that vehicle would communicate with mine, and this DSRC gateway device would send the information to my phone. The phone then determines if it’s worth notifying the driver about the event.”

For a system like this to work, auto makers will need to offer seamless integration across major platforms. GM has developed its own proprietary protocol to communicate the serial port profile and Apple HID profile over Bluetooth. Going forward, MirrorLink may be another solution.

Another possibility is to bypass the embedded gateway approach and put DSRC chipsets directly into handsets. “There are companies like GeoToll right now that are talking about adding a sleeve to a phone,” Lanctot says. “I think the industry is underestimating the power of the smartphone, and how it can be leveraged in this regard.”

Clouds over the cloud

One solution Grimm doesn’t see catching on for imminent accident avoidance is cloud hosting based around the LTE standard. That’s because cell speeds can diminish with high network use and lags occur as a signal is handed off from one tower to another.

“It’s not most efficient way to communicate safety info between vehicles,” he says. “If we’re 50 feet apart on the road, it seems like a more efficient use of bandwidth to broadcast within our local area up to maybe ¼ or 1/8 of a mile rather than go two miles away to the tower and then all the way back.”

However, he does leave open the possibility that cloud-hosting services will become aggregators of road condition information. Drivers could be alerted to hazardous road conditions that other vehicles broadcast days or weeks earlier. 

Source: Greg Nichols TU.