How Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) benefits V2X Communications?
V2X (Vehicle to Everything) is a core component of modern Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSs). It governs the coordination and communication between a vehicle and anything that might impact the environment. These include entities like other vehicles, pedestrians, and surrounding infrastructure, like traffic lights. Types of communications involved in automotive V2X are Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P), Vehicle-to-Device (V2D), Vehicle-to-Cloud (V2C), and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). Among other value additions, V2X extends the driver’s field of view to enhance safety, provides added services, and improves the Quality of Experience (QoE) by offering additional information about the traffic conditions or the presence of points of interest. V2X enables a more efficient, economical, and safe transportation system, paving the way for connected cars and future autonomous driving.
The automotive V2X market is projected to reach USD 12,859 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 44.2% (marketsandmarkets.com)
However, many of these services require stringent performance protocols, particularly delay/latency. To address these issues enters, Multi-Access/ Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), an advanced solution that places such services at the edge nodes to bring them closer to the vehicles.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC)
MEC moves the computing of traffic and services from a centralized cloud closer to the end-user. It facilitates data storage, processing, and analysis at the network edge and not some distant data center, reducing latency significantly. Characterized by ultra-low latency and high bandwidth, it brings real-time access to radio network information that the applications can leverage. MEC will play a significant role in future networks and applications as it has the potential to support many latency-sensitive and real-time applications. In this blog, we shall focus on the use and benefits of MEC in V2X applications and services.
MEC for V2X
MEC is an access technology-agnostic platform. It enables the deployment of applications closer to vehicles and pedestrians, thereby shortening the packet delay, enhancing the existing V2X communications systems, and enabling new ones.
For V2X, real-time situational awareness is vital, particularly in emergency scenarios and crucial routes. Furthermore, a backend server is crucial to provide high-definition local maps. Here we must add that leveraging situational awareness and local maps is not only about providing data on road traffic conditions. It must also support the aggregation and sharing of local data in real-time with drivers on the road via Road Side Units (RSUs). And deploying MEC enables shifting such activities to the network edge by combining data from diverse sources and effectively analyzing & broadcasting this to numerous drivers locally.
Specific V2X applications that aim to improve road safety are delay-sensitive and require highly reliable and quick message delivery. And as the number of connected vehicles increases, these requirements can no longer be addressed satisfactorily by technologies relying on current LTE systems. MEC addresses this need by offering computing, storage, and network resources closer to the end-users at the edge of the network.
Why MEC for V2X?
Businesses exploring using edge in V2X applications must first understand how MEC can benefit their business to leverage the true potential of edge computing fully. Here are a few benefits MEC offers toward the implementation of V2X systems.
- A MEC server allows V2X applications to run closer to the vehicles, RSUs, and sensors enabling data exchange at extremely low latency and higher reliability
- Enhances the implementation of V2X services related to road safety, traffic efficiency, and driver experience while unlocking many new applications
- Enables real-time HD mapping with real-time location-specific data for easy navigation
- Allows local information transfer between neighboring MEC servers bypassing the core network, enabling quick access to drivers
- Offers local processing of the collected information, significantly reducing the computation load of the core network
- Also enhances applications that are not hosted in the edge cloud by only sending aggregated messages to the centralized cloud, if necessary
- Enables lower download latency to mobile broadband services users due to the reduction in packet queue time by ensuring lesser communication traffic is handled by the backhaul network
- MEC platform services can provide vital information to V2X applications, for example, an accident update to the advanced navigation system, thereby providing the vehicle with real-time data on the traffic situation
- Offer remote driving by enabling remote control of a vehicle by a cloud-based or human operator via V2N communication
- Will allow V2X applications to exploit Radio Network Information (RNI) and location-based services more effectively, improving the performance of these applications
- Facilitates the localization of mobile devices and allows the development of user-based applications
- Allows applications like radio channel status & cell utilization, running on edge nodes to leverage the real-time access they have to network data to offer individualized services
- Enables prediction of the QoS achievable on each cell, improving the selection process of the serving cell and the MEC server, thus guaranteeing optimal QOE and seamless service coverage throughout the vehicle trajectories
- QoS prediction will also help in enhancing the performance of certain V2X applications running on a MEC host
- MEC will also significantly contribute to the development of V2X applications, which the current generations of cellular technology cannot support
- Road safety and VRU-related (Vulnerable Road User) applications will benefit from reduced latency and increased reliability offered by MEC
- Availability of RNI and location-based services will enable advanced driving assistance applications
- MEC won’t be helpful solely for critical V2X use cases. Storing information in local data caches will unlock convenience services, such as software updates and local traffic updates, which are only partially supported by the current network architectures
- MEC will majorly facilitate on-board infotainment services, which are expected to become more advanced as the industry moves toward fully autonomous vehicles
- Improves user experience and network utilization
- Promises many economic benefits for network providers and third parties like OEMs, software and hardware vendors, and other automotive-related businesses, like taxi fleets, car rentals, and public transport
MEC adoption is growing in the automotive industry, and ITS, particularly V2X, is poised to transform the domain, significantly influencing our everyday lives. The rapidly increasing number of sensors in connected vehicles and surrounding environments creates a compelling data storage and processing issue. To resolve this requires a service platform with powerful processing, reliable storing, and real-time communication. MEC-enabled V2X applications mean every car, truck, vehicle, and surrounding infrastructure on the road can potentially become a data repository. MEC is undoubtedly a promising way to decrease latency, bring data closer to end-users, and get more QoE and QoS while reducing backhaul congestion and optimizing gateway interconnectivity costs.
Want to know more about MEC for V2X applications and how you can leverage it to leapfrog your business goals? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org Our team would be happy to assist you.