Car makers across North America say they are still unsure about whether it needs to “dive into” 5G and how the ultrafast connectivity might change cars.
Automotive News Canada reports that, while major network companies are beginning to lay the groundwork for 5G cellular network deployment, which could have a huge impact on the auto industry, experts say coverage will still be patchy for years to come — and in some rural areas, perhaps nonexistent.
It says top executives from the telecommunications industry gathered in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress to discuss the promises of 5G.
“Carriers want to believe that connectivity is necessary to enable automated driving. Mobile World Congress suggests otherwise,” said Roger Lanctot, an analyst with Strategy Analytics. “Carriers are either not committed to this agenda yet, or they simply don’t understand how to make it happen.”
But the report adds that the rise of 5G will allow carriers to dedicate parts of the network, known as network slicing, to enable even faster speeds for automotive safety applications. Telecom and computing companies hope they will be essential to a future of driverless cars by offering a rock-solid connection to infrastructure, other cars, and computer farms that are capable of processing vast amounts of data generated by onboard sensors.
Vehicle-to-everything “connectivity is the most exciting thing we’re doing in automotive right now,” it quotes Patrick Little, senior vice president of automotive at Qualcomm. “If you can’t connect to the cloud, you go nowhere.”