Recently, there has been increased discussion on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications. I find this area to be interesting and challenging to the wireless engineer because it opens a completely new field for radio environment, demands, application, etc. (Yes, systems like trunked radio has been around for few decades but I assume we’re talking more than a simple FM system.) Since vehicles are central to our lives, especially in the US, this is probably the best place for applications to emerge. Being a gearhead certainly adds to my interest.

I cannot say that I fully follow the V2V activities, but the following news caught my attention which seems to indicate that there is a strong movement towards V2V communication and ITS in Japan.

On Feb. 4, 2008, Denso announced the beginning of Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication tests on public roads in Japan (see press release here). It uses 669 - 679 MHz UHF and 5.8GHz band DSRC. The V2V communication is apparently part of the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ initiative “Ubiquitous ITS”, which includes digital video broadcast (or VICS, vehicle information and communication system), 60-76GHz mm-wave sensor application, cellular service, short range applications (expressway tollgates, DSRC, wireless service transaction, etc).

The reason for using 669-679MHz above is only to avoid interference with the TV broadcast in the 700MHz band, of which 715-725MHz is expected to open for ITS use in 2011 when the analog TV broadcast goes off air in the 700MHz band.

Some interesting areas of ITS are identified here at the ITS Japan website.Traditional wireless systems (cellular, WiFi, etc) has always had a  clear demand: cellular service to provide bidirectional voice services, and WiFi to provide fast download and so-so upload. For ITS, at least to me, it is not clear what kind of data traffics are needed, that is to say, what type of wireless technologies should be used to support the service. Look at it another way, this area is wide open with possible applications, technologies to support it, and perhaps new business models.

So I thought it would be interesting to throw out a question: What can we do in ITS?

Does MIMO enable certain applications? Or will new applications drive towards new technology?

Some links for further reading: