A collection of automotive, tech and mobile giants plan to conduct trials of a variety of advanced connected vehicle technologies in Japan this year.

Japan's leading mobile operator, NTT Docomo, will partner with Japanese telecom OKI as well as Ericsson, Qualcomm, Nissan and Continental on the "cellular vehicle-to-everything" tests.

"This collaborative project will bring together the invaluable knowledge and experience of world leaders in the automotive and telecom domains, and will be imperative for all parties to underpin their roles in the era of connected cars toward improved road safety and comfort," NTT CTO Hiroshi Nakamura said in a statement.

The companies said cellular vehicle-to-everything technology, or C-V2X, will provide low-latency communications beyond vehicle lines of sight with cell networks, other vehicles, highway infrastructure or pedestrians — without relying on cellular coverage.

(Image credit: Nissan)

Continental will incorporate connected vehicle systems, which rely on Qualcomm chipsets, into Nissan vehicles for the tests. The other partner companies will be involved in vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-network use cases.

"The C-V2X solution is unique in that it, within a common technology and eco-system, offers both network-based and direct communication for V2X services," added Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden. "With the network-based communication, there is a possibility to provide traffic safety and traffic efficiency services utilizing already existing coverage and penetration of cellular modems and smartphones."

The participants aim to demonstrate both the reliability and speed of C-V2X communications in the 5 GHz band as well as the added benefits of LTE Advanced network communications.

The tests, which will use 3GPP standards, will also help stakeholders and government agencies prepare for an increasingly connected vehicle ecosystem as well as the 5G era, officials said.

"With the data made available by this real-world trial, we will be able to accelerate our development to offer new services in a timely manner, once the 5G technology is available," said Tetsuo Sasaki, the general manager of Nissan's connected vehicle engineering.