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Ford: All new vehicles to 'talk' through 5G by 2022

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. announced Monday plans starting in 2022 to outfit every new vehicle it sells in the U.S. with cellular technology enabling the vehicle to communicate with infrastructure, other vehicles or businesses around it.

Ford is committing to deploy cellular vehicle-to-everything technology — or C-V2X — in all of our new vehicle models in the United States beginning in 2022.

It's called "cellular vehicle-to-everything" technology, and it's part of the web of technology expected to make self-driving vehicles tick as they become more mainstream over the next decade, as automakers expect.

But human-driven vehicles could also benefit from the upgrades, Ford officials said. The technology would allow Ford vehicles to talk and listen to similarly equipped vehicles, people, traffic lights and other things to relay information and ease congestion and boost safety, according to Don Butler, executive director of Ford's connected vehicle platform and product.

In a blog post published Monday, Butler writes the technology could help people navigate four-way stops by alerting each driver of who has the right of way. Cars involved in accidents could ping their status to those approaching of an impending road-block. 

Traffic lights could signal to approaching vehicles that they're about to turn red, and road signs could feed drivers with more information about construction zones.

"Driver-assist technologies today and autonomous vehicles of the future utilize on-board sensors much in the way people use their eyes to navigate complex environments," Butler wrote. "C-V2X could complement these systems in ways similar to how our sense of hearing complements our vision to improve our ability to operate in a complex world."

Ford plans to work with industry and government organizations on a "conducive regulatory environment" for the new technology. The deployment of the new tech will piggyback on a growing 5G cellular network in the U.S.

The U.S. government thus far has invested in Wi-Fi-based communication systems that other automakers have invested in for their own short-range systems.

Ford's announcement follows CEO Jim Hackett's decision early in his tenure to outfit all new Ford vehicles with "connected" technology this year.


Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau