October 27, 2016 —
The main reason for this evolution is that automotive designs have very long times to market – much slower than communications technologies. Today, automotive engineers are working on models for the 2020-2021 timeframe. That means that, theoretically, they need to integrate 5G technologies today. Yet so much of 5G is still on the drawing board. So they are faced with the challenge of trying to understand today, what 5G will be tomorrow. Much like looking into crystal ball of evolving technology.
So what is the right path? In certain platforms, such as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology and the 802.11p standard are sufficiently advanced to address short-term needs. This works for now until 5G evolves to address the bandwidth needed for high-speed, low-latency connectivity and capability.
Early on, one of the first vectors that 5G will have a strong impact upon is safety. The more connected a car is, the more the need for failsafe and redundant safety systems. And, such systems will ever-expanding so the technology that supports them must be ever evolving.
Conor Campbell of Qualcomm Technologies says it well by noting that, although widespread commercialization of 5G is still a few years down the road, the underlying technical research and development is well underway.
Because the automotive market is highly safety conscious, there are many more safety standards and regulations that must be in place. So, much of the early implementation of autonomy will target health and safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. One industry expert estimates that more than 30,000 lives a year can be saved through intelligent transportation systems services.
And one more very explicit vector that will have a significant impact on the connected car segment, perhaps more than anything else is the internet of anything/everything (IoX). It is the perfect showcase for the paradigm shift that IoX will depict. The connected car is one of the first entry points for the IoX. One of the first use cases will be remote monitoring of the vehicle, mainly for mechanical integrity and early detection or diagnosis information. Other use cases will be over-the-air software updates, location-based apps and infotainment.
All of this will hinge heavily on the emergence of 5G. the clearer the fog of 5G becomes, the faster the connected car will evolve.