April 26, 2024

    There’s no doubt about it. Technology markedly reshapes how we live, and the technology revamping the automobile is no exception. Today's cars pack much more tech than just a few years back. They're wired to the world, with safety perks like lane assist and auto braking. Some even drive themselves in spots. These advancements open many new doors for consumers.

    The following are excerpts from the Connected Car For Dummies book 2nd Edition, a comprehensive guide that dives into the tech, both wired and otherwise, fueling the rise of self-sufficient, connected cars. This book, written by Qorvo experts, provides valuable insights into the future of automobile technology.

    A Look at Applications and the Technology Behind Them

    Technology creates a virtuous cycle. Technological progress fuels innovation, leading to further advancements and a continuous cycle of improvement. The automobile is a prime example. Every year, onboard computer systems in cars are getting more advanced, with many new features and innovations. These smart features can significantly improve driving and save lives.

    Figure 1: Automotive wireless technology applications

    Connected Car For Dummies – Second Edition

    You'll Learn:

    • The technologies behind the connected vehicle
    • How UWB technology enables next-generation vehicle communication and safety
    • To navigate automobile connectivity challenges in vehicle design
    • How electric vehicles are changing the landscape of the connected vehicle
    • The secret to autonomous vehicles

    Download the eBook

    Let’s take a closer look at each of the above applications and the technologies behind them:

    1. Telematics

    This refers to integrating telecommunications and information technology in vehicles to transmit, receive and store data about the vehicle and its surroundings. It involves using various technologies, such as GPS (Global Positioning System), cellular networks, sensors and onboard computers, to gather and analyze data related to vehicle performance, location, behavior and more.

    Telematics systems collect data from various sources within the vehicle, including the engine, brakes, transmission and other components, as well as external sources such as traffic conditions, weather and road infrastructure. This data is then transmitted wirelessly to a central server or cloud-based platform for analysis and processing.

    2. Infotainment

    Infotainment is a hybrid of "information" and "entertainment" and refers to in-vehicle systems that provide a combination of information, entertainment and communication services to occupants. These systems typically integrate various multimedia features, such as audio, video, navigation, connectivity, voice recognition and internet access, into the vehicle's dashboard or center console.

    Infotainment systems enhance the driving experience by providing entertainment and connectivity features while also offering useful information and navigation assistance. They contribute to making vehicles more versatile, convenient and enjoyable for occupants during their journeys.

    3. V2X Communications

    V2X, or Vehicle-to-Everything, refers to a communication technology that enables vehicles to exchange information with other vehicles (V2V), infrastructure (V2I), pedestrians (V2P) and networks (V2N). It encompasses various wireless communication technologies and protocols that allow vehicles to communicate with their surroundings to improve safety, efficiency, and mobility on the road.

    V2X communication facilitates the exchange of data related to vehicle position, speed, direction, acceleration, braking, and other relevant information. This real-time exchange of information enables vehicles to anticipate and react to potential hazards, such as collisions, traffic congestion, roadwork and adverse weather conditions, ultimately enhancing road safety and efficiency.

    Figure 2: how C-V2X communications will work. Communication will occur in two ways — one direct and the other indirect. Direct communications won’t go through the network, while indirect will use the network.

    4. ADAS

    ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These are technologies designed to improve vehicle safety, enhance driving comfort and automate certain aspects of driving. ADAS features typically use sensors, cameras, radar and other technologies to monitor the vehicle's surroundings and assist the driver in various driving tasks.

    ADAS technologies are continuously evolving and becoming more advanced, paving the way for semi-autonomous and eventually fully autonomous vehicles. These systems can enhance safety by assisting drivers in avoiding collisions, staying in their lanes and navigating traffic more effectively.

    5. Safety and Security

    Automotive wireless security and safety features encompass a range of technologies and systems designed to protect vehicles and the people in them. They include digital key, presence detection and eCall.

    Digital Key

    Digital Key keyless entry allows users to unlock and lock their vehicles remotely using their smartphones or other authorized mobile devices. The digital key is securely stored and encrypted within a dedicated mobile app provided by the vehicle manufacturer or a third-party provider. When the user approaches the vehicle, the digital key is transmitted wirelessly via Bluetooth® Low Energy and UWB to authenticate the user's identity and grant access to the vehicle's doors. This process relies upon the secure Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocol.

    Presence Detection

    Presence detection technology can identify the presence of passengers, monitor heartbeats or breathing, and alert vehicle owners if a child is left in a hot vehicle. These systems use UWB technology to accurately and reliably detect the vital signs of a child or sleeping newborn inside a vehicle – helping to save lives.


    eCall technology is an automated emergency call system designed to improve response times and enhance the effectiveness of emergency services in the event of a road traffic accident or other emergencies. The "e" in eCall stands for "emergency."

    Some of the key technologies involved in eCall implementation include:

    • Sensors to measure changes in vehicle acceleration, deceleration, and orientation to determine if an accident has occurred.
    • GPS (Global Positioning System) to determine the precise location of the vehicle at the time of the accident. This location information is transmitted to emergency services to enable them to dispatch assistance to the correct location.
    • GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) to establish a voice communication link between the vehicle and emergency services. This allows occupants to communicate with emergency dispatchers and provide additional information about the nature of the emergency.
    • Telematics and Onboard Communication Systems to integrate the various components of the eCall system and facilitate communication with external networks, such as cellular networks and emergency call centers.

    And There's More

    The Connected Car For Dummies book 2nd Edition,offers a much deeper dive and more valuable insights than what is covered here, including:

    • A discussion about the many organizations involved in implementing the connected car
    • A look inside the telecommunications control unit (TCU)—an onboard device that contains the wireless connectivity electronics
    • An exploration of wireless technologies and the role they play in automotive

    We encourage you to download our free e-book on the Connected Car to explore the many facets of these technologies and applications.

    The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Qorvo US, Inc. is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.


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    David Schnaufer

    About the Author

    David Schnaufer
    Technical Marketing Communications Manager

    David is the public voice for Qorvo’s applications engineers. He provides technical insight into RF trends as well as tips that help RF engineers solve complex design problems.