At a glance
Car-to-Infrastructure (C2I) communication is used in connected cars - cars that interact with their environment, among other things, in order to run certain processes automatically. C2I technology enables cars to communicate wirelessly with devices in their environment. To be more precise, these are devices that are part of the infrastructure: intelligent traffic signs, radio beacons, traffic lights, etc.
Car-to-X communication (C2X) refers to the communication of connected cars with any other factors - the "X" stands for "everything", so to speak. Generally speaking, movement data collected by the car is transferred to third parties, e.g. to systems in the vicinity or to mobile phone systems. C2I is a subtype of C2X communication. Other subtypes include car-to-car (C2C), car-to-enterprise (C2E) and car-to-mobile (C2M).
Technical requirements for Car-to-Infrastructure-Communication
The technology works wirelessly to communicate captured and permanently stored data with the environment of the vehicle. Various wireless technologies can be used, e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee or dedicated short-range communication networks (DSRC networks) in accordance with IEEE 802.11p. Communication with satellites (e.g. for GPS) and reception of broadcast signals (e.g. TCM for traffic information) can also be considered as part of C2I communication. Furthermore, various mobile radio systems can be used to send and receive data via the mobile Internet while on the move. The vehicle itself must therefore have the appropriate technical equipment in order to benefit from the C2I. Modern vehicles often have an extensive infotainment system with integrated hardware. Some functions can also be used via smartphone.
Possible application examples for Car-to-Infrastructure communication
C2I is a prerequisite for various automatic processes in which sensor data or other information from the vehicle must be shared with the environment, e.g. to provide the driver with important information about his environment or to be able to react automatically to dynamic traffic signals. Possible scenarios:
Automatic reporting of viscous traffic and congestion
In construction sites and at the end of a traffic jam, accidents often occur when inattentive drivers are surprised by the situation. Warning signals could be sent to the vehicle at an early stage via radio beacons or mobile phones. The driver could have the signal displayed in the car and prepare himself accordingly. Conversely, vehicles can report when they are in an area with traffic jams or slow-moving traffic to warn other road users.
Dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) networks are the technical basis for toll stations in some European countries. Roadside radio stations span a dedicated network with a very limited range. Affected vehicles (e.g. lorries) can be clearly identified while passing and registered for the purpose of toll accounting for the corresponding section of the route.