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All US Ford vehicles to have connected cellular tech starting in 2022

All Ford Motor Co. brand vehicles in the United States will offer cellular vehicle-to-everything technology starting in 2022, the automaker announced Jan. 7.

The technology, referred to as C-V2X, uses wireless communication between vehicles, traffic infrastructure and people, Ford said in a news release.

This allows direct communication between connected devices so a signal does not need to travel to a cellular tower first, Ford said. By communicating quickly, drivers will know what is ahead of them before they encounter it, the automaker said.

For example, connected vehicles can communicate at four-way stops to decide which one has the right of way. The technology will also allow traffic lights to send information to vehicles, alerting drivers about when the light will turn green or red. Even pedestrians with cellphones can communicate their location to vehicles, Ford said.

The C-V2X technology is still awaiting approval by federal regulators, who have not signed off on it to date, according to a Bloomberg report. If approved, the technology will run on 5G, the fifth-generation cellular network.

General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are adopting Wi-Fi technology called dedicated short-range communications, or DSRC, which the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on, Bloomberg reported.

"We've been looking at DSRC for a number of years along with Toyota, GM and Honda, so this is not a step that we take lightly in the sense of dismissing DSRC," Don Butler, executive director of Ford's connected-vehicle platform, told Bloomberg. "But we think this is the right step to make given where we see the technology headed."

Ford said it is working with industry and government officials to create a conducive regulatory environment for C-V2X.

The new technology builds on Ford's plan to equip its U.S. models with conventional cellular connectivity by the end of 2019, the automaker said. Ford said the technology could complement driver-assist technology and autonomous-vehicle programs.

C-V2X would enable vehicles to receive information about traffic developments and risks that driver-assist sensors might not provide, Ford said.

"Billions of dollars already are being spent as the cellular industry builds 5G networks, so we think the timing is perfect to give our vehicles some of the natural skills we use every day to get around," Butler said in the release.