Audi, BMW and Daimler partner with tech firms to drive 5G into cars

5G wireless communications will assist in self-driving technology advancements

Audi, BMW and Daimler have unveiled a partnership with some of the world's largest tech firms to develop the next generation of mobile networks for vehicle communications.

Along with Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm, the German automakers announced the formation of the "5G Automotive Association," which will develop, test and standardize the fifth generation of high-speed wireless communication.

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Audi's traffic light information system is the first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) integration, set to launch in select smart cities this fall in the U.S.

"The goal is to address society's connected mobility and road safety needs with applications such as connected automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart cities and intelligent transportation," the companies said in a statement.

The next-generation mobile network, also known as 5G, would involve not only cellular bandwidth improvements but also Internet connection speeds that are faster than the current 4G, or Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard.

The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, a non-profit industry group working on new cellular communication standards, has said 5G would enable data rates up to 1Gbps second, allow for a vast increase in the number of devices that could simultaneously be connected on the same network and offer more efficient mobile networks for a lower investment cost.

Self-driving cars not only rely on cameras and sensors to navigate, but also up-to date GPS and map data that can be used to identify the immediate location. In the future, autonomous vehicles will also be able to communicate with other vehicles and the infrastructure around them, known as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications.

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For example, Audi recently announced that ts 2017 vehicles will be able to communicate with traffic lights in order to inform drivers when they will switch from red to green.

Next-generation 5G mobile networks will include Cellular Vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication, which shifts the focus of information and communication technologies towards the Internet of Things, the 5G Automotive Association said.

"As an evolution to today's networks, next generation mobile networks are expected to handle much more data volume, connect many more devices, significantly reduce latency and bring new levels of reliability," the group said. "For example, 5G can better support mission-critical communications for safer driving and will further support enhanced [V2X] communications and connected mobility solutions."

The 5G Automotive Association said it will address key technical and regulatory issues, the integration of vehicle platforms with 5G connectivity, privacy and security, a distributed cloud infrastructure and onboard vehicle computing systems.

The group plans to run joint innovation and development projects and interoperability testing, as well large scale pilots and trial deployments.

"It will facilitate global regulation, certification and standardization efforts for autonomous driving and future car services based on 5G technologies," Li Yingtao, president of a Huawei's 2012 Labs business.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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