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Connected Mobility

Global Mobile Alert is seeking to facilitate widespread testing and development of its technology and mobile application. As part of this effort, GMA is planning to join connected vehicle testbeds around the country, which include more than 70 companies working on vehicle-to-vehicle solutions using connected mobility technology and sharing intellectual property.

The program is working toward a comprehensive vehicle connectivity proposition linking wireless autonomous vehicle connections to collision avoidance systems. Global Mobile Alert is working independently in this same direction with the objective of avoiding collisions at traffic light-equipped intersections.

This is the new era of safety enabled by wireless technology and increasingly accurate map data. The ultimate objective isn’t to simply avoid car crashes,but to enabletruly reliable automated driving. Today, intersections remain one of the greatest barriers to the success of automated driving.Vehicle safety based on wireless technology began with cellular and is now coming full circle as cellular re-emerges as a nearly ubiquitous, life-saving technology. Wireless technology-based safety began with General Motors’ OnStar automatic crash notification system and cellular is now enabling contextual alerts and helping facilitate collision avoidance technologies.

The 20th anniversary of the onset of General Motors’ OnStar system is a good time to consider the history of saving lives with wireless technologies in cars. At the time of OnStar’s conception, it was thought that the only way to save lives with wireless technology was to automatically call for help from the scene of a crash. A lot has changed since the onset of OnStar. Today, wireless technology in automobiles is being used to avoid crashes and save lives.

Those initial OnStar systems used 1G cellular technology based on wireless signals being handed off between towers. Cell phone signals were analog and included Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), Total Access Communication Systems (TACS) and Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT). By 1990, there were 20M subscribers to 1G network systems.

In the early 1990s, 2G phones using GSM (Global System for Mobile) technology arrived. Phones using 2G relied on digital modulation to improve voice quality but the network offered limited data services. The 2G carriers also began to offer additional services such as paging, faxes, text messages and voicemail. Other limited data services included WAP, HSCSD, and MLS.After 2G, 2.5G arrived using the GPRS standard, delivering packet-switched data to existing GSM networks. The important of packet-switching grew with the rise of the Internet and the Internet Protocol or IP. EDGE is an example of 2.5G mobile technology.

The 3G revolution allowed mobile telephone customers to use audio, graphics and video applications. With 3G it became possible to watch streaming video and engage in video telephony, although network capacity for such applications was limited.A key goal behind 3G was to standardize on a single global network protocol instead of the multiple standards that had existed previously. Also known as UMTS, 3G cellular services sustained higher data rates and opened the door to Internet-style applications.

The 3G network supported both packet-switched and circuit switched data transmission with a single set of standards in use worldwide. UMTS created the first possibility of global roaming, with potential access to the Internet from almost any location.

The current generation of mobile telephony arrived in the form of 4G to provide transmission rates up to 20Mbps while accommodating Quality of Service (QoS) features. QoS allows users and their carriers to prioritize traffic according to the type of application at a moment’s notice.

Applications built around 4G include high-performance streaming of multimedia content and video conferencing, as well as enabling connectivity for vehicles moving at highway speeds.The next generation of cellular wireless technology, 5G, though still subject to standards-setting activities, promises to enable communication between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. This latter capability is the application that will change the nature of safe driving forever — especially as more and more cars are fitted with cellular modules.

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