Bringing cloud-native vehicular safety applications to the road


With the advancement of softwarised networks and novel 5G technologies, emerging Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) applications will contribute to make our cities and roads safer, by providing road users with network connectivity and road-safety functionalities. As such, a key Pledger use case[1],[2] focuses on increasing the safety of vulnerable road users. But roads are fast-changing environments where accidents happen fast, and road-safety V2X applications have strict latency, reliability and bandwidth requirements. In addition, the adoption of V2X communications introduces additional challenges related to scalability, coverage, standardisation, and so on.


Softwarisation and virtualisation are two major enablers of 5G V2X applications. By allowing infrastructure providers to flexibly provision dedicated logical networks with virtualised functionalities over a common underlying infrastructure, network slicing is a prominent solution to support V2X applications over softwarised 5G systems in an agile manner. As such, i2CAT Foundation has proposed the development of a virtualised V2X stack, as well as the deployment of infrastructure enhancements in the city of Barcelona, in order to bring connectivity and computational capabilities closer to the road in an efficient and scalable manner.

Figure 1: Barcelona’s 22@ district where edge infrastructure components will be deployed


Our proposed V2X stack comprises several components, including a communication module based on the IEEE 802.11p protocol, and a MQTT broker that allows external applications to access information gathered in the vehicular stack. In particular, the V2X communication module takes care of handling the encoding/decoding of V2X messages and lower layer protocols such as Geonetworking and Basic Transport Protocol (BTP). All messages sent or received through this module go through the MQTT broker, on which the payload of received messages through the BTP-Geonetworking protocol is kept. The V2X messages then can be published on specific queues configured to be sent through the module, following the ETSI C-ITS standard.


Figure 2: V2X stack top-level diagram

This implementation of the V2X stack is designed following the architecture of microservices and is composed of a few submodules which are all containerised. The containerisation of submodules allows for a straightforward deployment and handling of V2X applications through Kubernetes[3], leveraging a common layer of abstraction across underlying architectures. This will bring the ability to provision dedicated logical networks for the deployment of V2X applications, as well as the capability to scale-out workloads across multiple virtual compute nodes. As a result, Pledger’s cloud-native road safety applications will be placed close to the road and take full advantage of the benefits brought by softwarisation, virtualisation[4] and edge computing[5],[6].






[4] A. Moubayed and A. Shami. (2020). Softwarization, Virtualization, & Machine Learning For Intelligent & Effective V2X Communications




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