Real-time communication: Bosch, Vodafone, and Huawei use intelligent mobile telephony to prevent accidents

Annett Fischer

Annett Fischer >


  • From car to car: direct communication between vehicles aims to lower accident rates
  • Mobile telephony of the future: first 5G test modules for instantaneous exchange of information
  • On the road: partners field-testing test new technology on A9 freeway

Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, Germany – A milestone on the path to fully connected roads: on the A9 freeway near Allershausen, Germany, Bosch, Vodafone, and Huawei are field-testing the new LTE-V2X technology. The new mobile communication technology enables the direct, instantaneous exchange of information between vehicles. Connected cars can directly transmit information about such things as speed, position, and lane change to all vehicles within a 320-meter radius. What is more, they can do so without going through any intermediate channels, which means communication occurs instantaneously. It is hoped that this fast and direct communication between vehicles will optimize the flow of traffic and reduce accident rates. Together with the comprehensive cellular network, it will provide an additional safeguard in the future for fully connected roads.

On the proving ground of the A9 freeway, Vodafone is installing a powerful cellular network for data transmission. As a systems technology partner, Huawei is building the mobile telephony modules for the cars and installing the necessary communications technology at the base stations. Bosch’s role is to integrate the mobile telephony modules and corresponding software into the vehicles and take measurements on site. During the pilot phase, the partners aim to demonstrate under live conditions that direct mobile communication between cars works with extremely low latency, and to show how it differs from wifi-based alternatives. The comprehensive cellular network also helps provide maximum reliability and facilitates the coordination of car-to-car communication. International bodies are currently working on the specifications for LTE-V2X. For the first time ever in Europe, the Bosch, Vodafone, and Huawei tests build on the latest specifications.

The technology is initially being tested as a real-time warning system for lane changes on the freeway. It is designed so that cars exchange all relevant information, such as speed and position, with other vehicles in the vicinity. During a lane-change maneuver, for example, the driver will receive a warning if a car is approaching at high speed from behind, which could result in an accident. In a situation such as this, it is crucial that information is exchanged instantaneously. The technology will undergo subsequent testing for further scenarios in order to assess what other functions apart from the early warning for lane changes stand to benefit most from swift data transmission. The functions under consideration include alerting drivers to sudden braking maneuvers by a preceding vehicle.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 46.8 billion euros in 2019, and thus contributed 60 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

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