Startups Spurring Innovation in Connected Car Technology

The Startup
Published in
8 min readOct 10, 2020
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Humans are not perfect drivers; we are vulnerable to many physical and emotional factors influencing our driving behavior. A study suggests that many road accidents occur due to a lack of response time for drivers. In order to make informed judgments, drivers need a smart assistance system that can predict a possible event beforehand and prevent a fatal crash or serious injuries. when IoT technologies like Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication make progress, there is a possibility that our cars can become crash-proof.

What is Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) Communication (V2V, V2I, V2P)

V2X is an intelligent transport system comprising of Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) communications. Biometric seat technology; autonomously managed municipality; and highway system are also part of advanced IoT technologies. This gamut of IOT technologies aims to change the way we drive making transportation safer, reducing traffic congestion, and the environmental impact of automobiles.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V communication) technology allows vehicles to relay data wirelessly between two vehicles and to smart infrastructure. The aim of V2V communication is to allow vehicles in transit to develop 360-degree awareness of the surrounding environment. As a key module of the autonomous vehicles, V2V falls in the class of Non-Line-of-Sight communications that can enhance the safety of self-driving cars when approached by unmanned or unseen intersection.

Data from V2V communication can be further used by intelligent transport system to improve traffic management. It forms a connected network for vehicles to communicate with roadside infrastructures like traffic lights and signs; Lanes management systems, which digitally switch lanes based on the traffic patterns; and also enable “platooning”, a connectivity feature in which the vehicles following a set path can accelerate and brake simultaneously.

How technologies used in V2X are supposed to work

Communication protocols represent the keystone of V2V systems. At present, there is no globally harmonized standard for V2X communication. While China primarily uses LTE-V2X technology, which is based on mobile communications, Europe and the United States are planning to additionally introduce transmission standards based on Wi-Fi called Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC), which is based on IEEE 802.11p, and ITS-G5 alongside LTE-V2X.

Upcoming 5G technology can be a game-changer for V2X. 5G can seamlessly provide fast, reliable low latency, and low failure tolerance connectivity. This would facilitate native support for peer-to-peer communication and large data transfers such as sharing of sensor data among cars, position sensing, and sharing of high definition maps.

A cross-industry coalition of various leading companies involving major automotive players like Audi, BMW, and Daimler, telecom services; equipment providers like Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia; and semiconductor companies like Intel and Qualcomm are collaborating to evolve, test, and promote 5G communications for connected cars.

What are the benefits of V2X?

V2X addresses safety applications that are crucial for the driver’s rapid, robust, and timely performance. For instance, the technology would provide the driver with the information needed to decide whether it is safe to pass on a two-lane road (to avoid potential head-on collisions); take the path of oncoming traffic, or turn at an intersection. In these situations, V2V communications can alert drivers of developing troubling conditions hundreds of yards away, when the driver and onboard sensors cannot detect the threat. In addition, V2V systems support automated drive functions like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

How are Startups Taking Advantage?

Startups are innovating with technology in more intriguing ways pushing ahead of large companies. VCs are also clearly taking a significant interest in this space as IOT connected vehicles industry is expected to boom by 2025. According to pitchbook, globally the funding environment in autonomous vehicles over the last decade has been very positive with about USD 30.4 billion being invested across 450 deals in autonomous vehicles and related technologies. In Q1 2020 alone venture capital investors poured a record $3.4 billion.

Past trends suggest that a significant portion of VC investment in the space has gone toward startups such as Zoox, Nuroa and Aurora - focused on developing full-stack autonomous solutions. However, according to Pitchbook, this is starting to change as investments are expanding into companies that focus on a single aspect of autonomy, such as perception or localization, or otherwise augment the autonomous vehicle space.

The top 11 VCs funding autonomous vehicle technology since 2010.

Data Source - Pitchbook

Emerging connectivity startups driving the industry

Backed by marquee investors like Bill Gates, Kymeta is the US-based company that aims to connect vehicles by using global satellite networks via the flat-panel satellite antenna, the first of its kind. Kymeta aims to utilize flat roof space on cars and trucks to install its satellite-cellular antenna tech that connects to the global satellite network. Their product accesses a large amount of available satellite bandwidth in combination with cellular networks to connect with the land mobility ecosystem.

Autotalks is an Israel based company specializing in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions. Their product comes in the form of a chipset which is a Dual-Mode /Dual- Active V2X that aims to provide solutions that offer reliability, security, positioning accuracy, and ease of installation. The company is backed by venture capital funds including Hyundai Cradle, Gemini Israel Funds, Magma Venture Partners, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, and Amiti Ventures.

Savari is a Silicon Valley-based company that aims to merge infrastructure communication and V2V communication to improve safety. Their goal is to connect cars, traffic lights, smartphones, and pedestrians to the same network using agnostic radio solutions. Savari solutions include vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-phone, and infrastructure-to-phone. The company also aims to be a platform for smart cities as a whole. It is backed by GM Ventures, Flextronics, SAIC Capital, Aviva, among others.

Cohda Wireless is an Australia-based company, which provides V2V solutions for automotive and public safety. Their products use an IEEE 802.11p compliant radio designed for precision. Cohda’s hardware and software products are used in more than 60% of all V2X field trials worldwide. Cisco and NXP Semiconductors are strategic investors in Cohda Wireless.

Commsignia offers V2X software stack that is hardware agnostic and compatible with multiple RTOS (real-time operating systems) as well as wireless technologies including 802.11p, 4G/LTE, and the upcoming 5G.

Commsignia is building the world’s first connectivity platform for the fusion of V2X and ADAS applications with an aim to integrate ADAS sensors with V2X connectivity. The company is engaged in V2X pilots with leading OEMs and Tier 1 companies. It is backed by investors like arma Ventures, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Partech, Inventure, Credo Ventures, and Day One Capital.

HAAS Alert, a US-based startup, develops collision prevention solutions. The startup serves emergency responders, roadside assistance vehicles, and other municipal fleets. The company’s service Safety Cloud sends digital alerts to approaching drivers through Waze and other navigation services when equipped vehicles activate their lights and sirens, reducing the potential for collision. Safety Cloud also includes a live dashboard for fleet tracking and improved situational awareness. The service can be activated with the company’s HA-5 Transponder or through integrated hardware such as Cradlepoint and Geotab. It is backed by Blu Venture Investors, Ride Ventures, TechNexus Venture Collaborative.

Chorus Mobility is a US-based startup, developing blockchain-based applications for V2V communication. Their applications enable autonomous vehicles to interact and share information with each other on factors such as the state of the road, the condition of the traffic, weather, etc.

Viziblezone, an Israel-based startup, offers a vehicle-to-pedestrian solution. The company’s pedestrian safety software is deployable on cars’ onboard systems and as mobile apps. It uses artificial intelligence to determine accident risk based on pedestrian information, driver profile, and road environment. In case it detects high risk, it alerts the driver and the vehicle’s engine control unit to avoid a collision.

FlipsCloud a Taiwanese startup, provide cloud-based security and encryption solutions for V2V communication. These solutions ensure quantum level security of user data and privacy using blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company is working on “collaborative driving” concept by offering secure data exchange between the vehicles.

Key challenges holding off V2X technology

Government Guidelines on DSRC versus Cellular

Due to two competing and mutually exclusive standards for providing V2V communications the United States and the EU are both experiencing delays in reviewing and passing V2V-related regulatory rulings. While many OEMs will gravitate towards 5G, DSRC still appeals to automakers like Ford, GM, and Toyota as they will not have to pay for a subscription fee.


V2V communications occur in a 75 MHz band of the 5.9 GHz spectrum, which has been allocated to V2V by the FCC since 1999. Since there was little development on V2V for a long time, cable TV and cell phone companies have been pushing to expand their bandwidth into the 5.9 GHz spectrum.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that V2V equipment, security, and information management systems will cost about $350 per vehicle in 2020 and decrease to around $200 by 2058. Annual additional costs for automakers are projected to be $300 million to $2.1 billion in 2020, $1.1 to 6.4 billion between 2022 and 2024, and decrease to $1.1 to 4.6 billion.

But it’s not just the technology that has to evolve; major upgrades need to be made in infrastructure, regulations, insurance models, and more to accelerate advanced driver assistance systems adoption.

Security Concerns

Public Key Certificates architectures, similar to the systems used in banking and credit cards, will be used for V2V to prevent cyber hacking. Also, NHTSA stipulates that V2V systems will not collect, broadcast, or share personal information between vehicles, or permit the tracking of a specific driver or vehicle.


V2V has been in discussion for over a decade for its safety offerings. But its implementation has been complicated due to factors such as technology, wireless spectrum, governmental regulatory bodies, the cooperation of automakers, and adaptation of the technology as a whole.

As 5G progresses, V2V players stand to benefit. Sensors, data storage, and analytics will become cost-effective. Development in the road infrastructure including traffic lights, freeway structure, etc, will roll V2I adoption.

V2V will continue to evolve slowly. It may be 2030 before we have commercially viable vehicles that can detect the sudden stop of other vehicles in front. And the full implementation of V2V including V2I may be futuristic.




The Startup

Business Analyst and Startup enthusiast focused on Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning