The different types of vehicle connectivity

Connected vehicles are proving to be a valuable tool in facilitating the growth of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Most of us are familiar with the ability to connect our phones to our car audio system, but there are 7 kinds of vehicle connectivity that go beyond the ability to play music or make a phone call.

What are Connected Vehicles?

Connected vehicles are vehicles that have an internet connection and can send or receive data between other nearby devices and the cloud.

What are the different kinds of connectivity?

  1. Vehicle to Infrastructure
  2. Vehicle to Vehicle
  3. Vehicle to Cloud
  4. Vehicle to Pedestrian
  5. Vehicle to Device
  6. Vehicle to Network
  7. Vehicle to Grid

These 7 types of connectivity are also commonly referred to under the umbrella term of ‘Vehicle to Everything’ (V2X).

Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I)

V2I is a bi-directional information exchange between a vehicle and the road infrastructure around it. This includes smart sensors installed in road signs, streetlights, and traffic lights. V2I systems are vital to the functioning of ITS.

Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V)

V2V is a real-time communication and data exchange between different vehicles. Broadly speaking, vehicles create a network, where each car is considered a ‘node’ that can capture, send, and transport signals that are used to proactively alert drivers of potential hazards.

Vehicle to Cloud (V2C)

V2C leverages the internet and mobile networks such as 5G to exchange and store data in the cloud. This includes over-the-air updates to vehicle software, remote vehicle diagnostics, and even saving a drivers’ seat and mirror preferences.

Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P)

V2P involves using in-vehicle camera systems such as LiDAR technology to generate collision warnings and detect pedestrians to alert drivers. Unlike the name suggestions, it does not involve vehicles directly ‘connecting’ to a person. The reliability of V2P is still contentious and, as a result, many prefer to use connectivity to hand-held devices or smart sensors to avoid and detect collisions.

Vehicle to Device (V2D)

V2D allows vehicles to share information with any smart device, and vice versa. This includes using Bluetooth to connect your Spotify to your car stereo system, or using Apple Carplay to connect to infotainment systems inside the car.

Vehicle to Network (V2N)

V2N allows vehicles to use cell tower networks to communicate with other nearby vehicles, road infrastructure and treats cars like smart devices on wheels. Your car can receive alerts (i.e., alerts can be ‘pushed’ to the car system) and communicate with nearby data centres connected to WiFi or  5G.

Vehicle to Grid (V2G)

V2G is a relatively new form of connectivity. It provides bidirectional data exchange between different types of hybrid and electric cars to support the electrification of transport. This includes balancing loads more efficiently across an electricity grid and helping to optimise electricity bills for households.