Nieke Roos
28 October

NXP Semiconductors has announced the rollout of its Roadlink vehicle-to-everything communication solution in the new Volkswagen Golf. The recently released Golf of the 8th generation is the first volume European car model equipped with V2X, offering a major boost to the technology’s deployment on roads in Europe and beyond. The Wi-Fi-based Roadlink solution (link in Dutch) can prevent accidents by having cars communicate with each other, brand-independently and without the support of cellular infrastructure. NXP and Volkswagen have closely collaborated for high reliability and performance, as well as for V2X standardization that addresses cybersecurity and privacy protection.

“Volkswagen has taken a bold step to seize the road safety initiative through the implementation of V2X,” said Torsten Lehman, senior vice president and general manager of Driver Assistance and Infotainment at NXP. “After proving it in more than one million test days globally, we’re pleased that our Roadlink technology, developed in cooperation with Cohda Wireless, was chosen to enable new levels of safety in Europe’s most popular car model, the new Golf.” Volkswagen includes the technology as a standard feature.

Credit: NXP

V2X communication is set to become a critical part of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and the migration to autonomous cars. It enables awareness and communication between vehicles, road infrastructure like traffic lights or street signs, and other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. By helping cars ‘see’ more than a mile ahead, around corners and through objects, with its capabilities unaffected by poor weather conditions, it can provide early warning of obstacles, hazards and roadworks – complementing other ADAS sensing technologies such as radar, lidar and cameras.

Wi-Fi-based V2X is a mature technology that has been tested for more than 10 years. Presently, 1000 km of European roads are equipped with it, with 5000 km planned through the end of this year. The technology has been researched, developed, tested and standardized within a global ecosystem of suppliers and car manufacturers to ensure reliability in diverse road and traffic conditions. In addition to NXP and Volkswagen, Wi-Fi-based V2X supporters include General Motors, Toyota and Volvo.

Wi-Fi isn’t the only contender, though. Companies like BMW, Daimler, Ford, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung are backing 5G. Earlier this year, the European Commission issued a bill to embrace Wi-Fi as the communication basis for V2X, which was subsequently approved by the European Parliament. The European Council of Ministers, however, reversed the decision, asking the newly elected Commission to draft a proposal with a technology-neutral approach, leaving the choice to car manufacturers and operators. NXP and Volkswagen are now advertising their Wi-Fi-based solution by pointing out that it’s available independent of paid cellular services and that complementary cellular-based technologies can be added.