The last decade has seen a monumental increase in telematics, infotainment, and other electronic applications for automobiles. Yet one opportunity has still been left largely neglected: networking between vehicles and between vehicles and communications infrastructure. To advance such communications, NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Cohda Wireless have signed the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

This MoU, which focuses on Europe, works to implement and deploy harmonized technology for wireless communication between cars or between cars and traffic infrastructure. In such a network, communication partners like vehicles, traffic infrastructure, and service providers wirelessly exchange information. Such capability will be the basis for achieving new levels of traffic safety and efficiency.

Although these efforts focus solely on Europe, the consortium is pushing for the global harmonization of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure (C2I) communication standards. It recognizes the need to adapt software to the regional characteristics of the US, European, and Japanese markets. Although 12 major car manufacturers signed the MoU last October, NXP and Cohda—which specializes in wireless communications for automotive safety applications—are the first automotive electronics suppliers to do so.

The two firms also announced that they are using the new technology brand, RoadLink, to introduce a total Car-to-X radio and security solution for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on-board and roadside units. This solution leverages Cohda’s patented reception technology, which promises to enhance wireless communications to quality levels beyond commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) receivers and transmitters using the IEEE 802.11x communication standard. For its part, NXP contributes the hardware platform based on its expertise in software-defined-radio (SDR), high-performance mixed-signal RF tuners, and security technologies.

Using RoadLink technology, lesswire is developing small, embedded Car-to-X radio modules that excel in RF performance. Dubbed the C2X module, it supports the timely introduction of automotive applications from 2015 onward, as planned by the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium. The firm plans to release its first modules in 2014 for use by car manufacturers as well as in various artchitectures.