14 Demonstration Testing of the V2X Unit

Leveraging Wi-Fi to deliver real-time information to the places and people that need it

In its aim to make motorized transportation more convenient, courteous, and worry-free for everyone, Honda is dedicating itself to the development of telematics, technologies that connect people, vehicles, and society at large through wireless networks. Honda was especially quick to recognize the potential of V2X*, a form of telematics that is gathering attention as an advanced means of establishing direct two-way connections between vehicles and between vehicles and roadside pedestrians and infrastructure, and in 2015 developed the V2X Unit, a high-performance Wi-Fi-enabled in-vehicle communication device.
Honda's V2X Unit is the heart of a system that will enable vehicles to talk to each other, to pedestrians with a dedicated smartphone app, and to roadside devices directly and in real time by way of Wi-Fi, rather than the Internet. The system turns each vehicle into a communication hub that can pick up and relay information to others. In everyday situations, for example, vehicles will be able to alert each other to upcoming traffic conditions when passing by, and drivers will be able notify pedestrians at intersections of their intended movements, such as making turns. This reciprocal exchange of information has the potential to give drivers and pedestrians greater peace of mind when on the road. And its usefulness extends to emergency situations as well, since the Wi-Fi connection allows rapid transmission of location-specific information, such as evacuation routes, across a broad area, even when cellular networks and other lines of communication fail.
Hoping to realize practical deployment of the V2X Unit early on, Honda is proactively conducting demonstration projects with various stakeholder entities, including the Japanese government, communications carriers, and other automakers.
To learn more about what’s behind these efforts, we talked with staff in the Telematics Division, the part of Honda Motor’s Business Development Supervisory Unit that developed the V2X Unit and is conducting tests in and outside Japan.
Here we reveal the motivations and efforts behind development of the V2X Unit, as well as various test projects in partnership with local public transportation systems. We also talked with members of the Kobe City Transportation Bureau about one such test project using their municipal buses.

*V2X: Communications network that connects vehicles (V) with other things (X), such as vehicles, people, and roadside devices.

Testing the V2X Unit using Kobe City buses, February through April, 2016

Testing the V2X Unit using Kobe City buses, February through April, 2016

The palm-sized V2X Unit

The palm-sized V2X Unit

Conceptual diagram of the V2X Unit

Lessons from 3.11 about what to do next

How to get potentially life-saving information through when disaster strikes and cellular networks are down? This question occupied Oishi's mind long after the earthquake. And by the time the Global Telematics Division launched, he had come up with a plan.
"The idea I had was to send information by linking Wi-Fi hotspots, instead of going through a server. Turning a vehicle into a hotspot would allow it pass information on to surrounding vehicles along its route. Those vehicles could then pass the information on to other vehicles, and so forth."
This is the concept of V2X, which connects vehicles with vehicles and vehicles with pedestrians through smartphones and other devices.
Immediately after the launch of the Global Telematics Division, not long after Oishi came up with idea, a proposal came to his desk from a communications company with which Honda had had a collaborative relationship since the start of Internavi Premium Club.
The proposal was for an in-vehicle Wi-Fi router that would allow occupants to access the Internet via Wi-Fi. Oishi knew intuitively that this was a godsend for Honda. Using such a communication device could turn a vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot, and also send large amounts of data at high speeds. System development quickly got underway and made great headway toward realization.
What kinds of system components are needed to create a device that functions as a communication hub? Takeo Tokunaga, principal engineer in the Business Creation Department who joined the Global Telematics Division at the same time as Oishi, explains.
"The system was equipped with a Wi-Fi router function, 3G/LTE connectivity, built-in SIM, GPS, and acceleration sensor. Attaching an antenna to the unit further broadens the access area, allowing information to be passed instantaneously between cars even when passing each other at speeds of 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour)."
Development moved forward as Honda negotiated with the communications company about such terms as which standard to use for the Wi-Fi connection. Then, in March 2015, Honda announced the V2X Unit at the 6th Automotive Telecommunication Technology Tokyo exhibition.

Yasuo Oishi reflects on his experience in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami

Yasuo Oishi reflects on his experience in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami

V2X Unit: A mobile communication hub drawing on the advantages of Wi-Fi

How to get potentially life-saving information through when disaster strikes and cellular networks are down? This question occupied Oishi's mind long after the earthquake. And by the time the Global Telematics Division launched, he had come up with a plan.
"The idea I had was to send information by linking Wi-Fi hotspots, instead of going through a server. Turning a vehicle into a hotspot would allow it pass information on to surrounding vehicles along its route. Those vehicles could then pass the information on to other vehicles, and so forth."
This is the concept of V2X, which connects vehicles with vehicles and vehicles with pedestrians through smartphones and other devices.
Immediately after the launch of the Global Telematics Division, not long after Oishi came up with idea, a proposal came to his desk from a communications company with which Honda had had a collaborative relationship since the start of Internavi Premium Club.
The proposal was for an in-vehicle Wi-Fi router that would allow occupants to access the Internet via Wi-Fi. Oishi knew intuitively that this was a godsend for Honda. Using such a communication device could turn a vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot, and also send large amounts of data at high speeds. System development quickly got underway and made great headway toward realization.
What kinds of system components are needed to create a device that functions as a communication hub? Takeo Tokunaga, principal engineer in the Business Creation Department who joined the Global Telematics Division at the same time as Oishi, explains.
"The system was equipped with a Wi-Fi router function, 3G/LTE connectivity, built-in SIM, GPS, and acceleration sensor. Attaching an antenna to the unit further broadens the access area, allowing information to be passed instantaneously between cars even when passing each other at speeds of 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour)."
Development moved forward as Honda negotiated with the communications company about such terms as which standard to use for the Wi-Fi connection. Then, in March 2015, Honda announced the V2X Unit at the 6th Automotive Telecommunication Technology Tokyo exhibition.

Takeo Tokunaga installing the V2X Unit in a test vehicle
Takeo Tokunaga installing the V2X Unit in a test vehicle

Takeo Tokunaga installing the V2X Unit in a test vehicle

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