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08th April 2021
The analyst firm Gartner forecasts that by 2023 the automotive industry will become the largest opportunity for 5G IoT solutions representing 53% of the total market.
With all of the recent hype, regarding connected cars, it’s easy to forget that the connected car evolution actually started back in 1996 with the release of GM’s OnStar to the market. Since then, the progression has been fast paced leading to the connected car revolution we see happening today.
From this we can understand that connected cars can operate successfully even without the introduction of 5G networks. However I would like to suggest that the modern focus on automotive connectivity involves a much wider reach to the extended environment. The future and continued progression of the connected vehicle relies heavily on a fully connected eco system in which it operates, no longer solely encompassing the car individually but as part of a much larger landscape. This is where we see 5G changing the game.
We are in a world of smart transportation, with connected cars already utilising telematics, GPS, and in car entertainment to maximise driver and passenger experience. But currently the decision-making still remains in the hands of the driver. As the ultra connected vehicle continues to become a reality, we are likely to see the network take over the decision making for us.
In order to make real time decisions, environmental factors need to be considered, meaning the connected cars of the future need to be able to continuously communicate with other vehicles (V2V), other machines and all that surrounds it (V2X). Making the Future of cars synonymous with IoT.
To achieve these data heavy milestones, a network large enough, quick enough and reliable enough is needed.
5G networks provide the low latency and vast bandwidth requirements, that are essential to process the inordinate amounts of data that will be generated, along side the capacity to support a myriad of connected ‘things’ in constant communication, and all within real time.
What 5G allows’ the industry to do, is not just related to the progression of the autonomous or connected cars of the future, but also the development and communication between the car, and its environment.
We can apply this constant flow of data to enable us to improve upon the green infrastructure around us. 5G Networks provide us with the ability to create a framework of intelligent connected objects, continuously receiving, analysing, and managing real time data to streamline services, optimise infrastructure and improve energy distribution, culminating in a more green, sustainable connected future for cities across the county.
Imagine a future where 5G, connected vehicles and smart cities manage to decrease traffic, improve air quality, optimise public services, and allow local authorities to become more agile with their decision making abilities. Parking spaces could be detected and allocated by a streetlight. According to Greg Murphy from Forbes Technology Council, these changes can’t come quick enough.
“The United Nations projects that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, up from 55% in 2018. This influx will strain demand for services, necessitating a more efficient allocation of time, manpower and other valuable but limited resources.”
It’s hard to believe that there is any other viable option currently running in the race towards a connected society, leaving 5G unparalleled in it’s leading role. That is not to say it doesn’t come without its challenges. The cyber security industry has its work cut out for it, as does the overall pace of the 5G roll out.
So although I believe connected cars are not currently dependent on 5G networks, the future of connected vehicles and ultimately, a connected society, is without doubt reliant on the deployment of a robust 5G network.