Wouldn’t it be nice if our cars could communicate with one another as intricately and effectively as our smartphones? Well, as it turns out, a myriad of automotive tech companies are investing in that exact technology.
5G stands for the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, and with its high quote of data, reduction in cost, and device connectivity capabilities, it is the ideal platform to address the safety concerns of the self-driving car.
According to the MIT Technology Review:
“Most of the demos involve people driving cars and trucks outfitted with special C-V2X chipsets and modems. The vehicles send and receive wireless signals 10 times per second and display certain types of information—such as warnings about oncoming pedestrians, storms, and accidents—as pop-up alerts on drivers’ windshields or dashboards.”
Paired with participating infrastructure like traffic lights, construction warnings, and bridges, this technology will be revolutionary to highway safety. Other benefits include creating better, more manageable traffic patterns, a smaller carbon emissions footprint, and alternative solutions to human pilots that might not otherwise be able to drive.
However, like any great technological stride, reaching a universal consensus among the big industry players is a challenge. The majority of production giants are committed to supplying this technology to consumers in the future, but for functionality’s sake, there needs to be a level of uniformity across the system.
For the time being, President Trump’s administration has allowed the industry to work out these kinks, rather than pass any federal regulations. Only time will tell if this remains the case.
In any capacity, 5G technology has certainly flung open the doors to self-driving car innovations and possibilities. And some institutions are so enthusiastic about the general idea of connected cars that they are investing in any and all equipment that supports this new and burgeoning standard.