Intelligent transport mode is on with 5G wireless technology. We have come far from that traditional mode of transport to an intelligent one where vehicles can also be driven without human assistance. Have we ever imagined a car without a driver a decade ago? The answer for most of us would be a big NO! How is this possible? The invention of new-age wireless networking technologies like 5G has made it all real to believe that Yes! Driving can be performed in the presence of interconnected networks with no human intervention, plying all over the roads and communicating digitally through road infrastructure and location-based services, what is commonly known as autonomous vehicles. Thanks to wireless internet connections that have improved our way of driving embedded with risk-avoidance systems, making it more comfortable and be aware of issues ahead of time to take automated decisions.
- Accommodation of 5G and autonomous driving will bring structural changes
Autonomous vehicles are solely dependent on wireless networks. With faster speed, high bandwidth and low latency offerings in 5G technology makes it favorable for automakers to rely on this technology to develop 5G autonomous vehicles. Telcos and automakers are collaborating with each other to understand critical requirements for bringing autonomous driving into full action with enhanced means of communication between cars and surrounding infrastructure.
- Building automated interconnections in self-driving cars
Here are some of the key connectivity requirements to achieve the goal of autonomous driving:
- Need for real-time and reliable network architecture
Autonomous driving will increase onus on redundant network architectures that are reliable and real-time at the same time. Hierarchical organization of group sensors and actuators with clusters of high performance in functional domains via a central gateway implemented as a high-speed data backbone structure for such architectures.
- Demand for more and more high-speed data
5G autonomous vehicles will include sophisticated systems such as increasing number of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensors like LIDAR, and RADAR, human-machine interfaces (HMIs) comprising large head-up displays (HUDs) or 4K/8K screens. Data will be generated in a vast amount from these systems running in parallel or different directions and managed in switched networks within a margin that would ensure the car operates safely.
Auto manufacturers will need to increase bandwidth constantly for distributed network structures and node-to-node data pipes to meet data demands as and when required. As per research, it has been estimated that level 5 cars are enabled with transmitting 25GB of data to the cloud server every hour. TE Connectivity (TE), an American Swiss-based tech firm, has built gigabit-speed networks to aid automotive OEMs that can meet their connectivity requirements to build driverless cars.
- External connectivity is essential for safety and other applications
Humans make decisions in seconds such as braking and autonomous cars will also be enabled with decision-making capabilities. However, self-driving vehicles to be safe requires real-time data transmission in a minimal time. 5G mobile communication offers low latency than LTE with provision of higher data rates of up to 10 Gbps and is used in V2X communications to actively build communication between one vehicle with another and traffic infrastructure such as lights in fraction of seconds.
For instance, information on traffic signals few kilometers ahead, can automatically decrease the pace of vehicle so that by the time it reaches, the signal turns to green saving waiting time on the signal or directly avoid that congested route. Execution of 5G tests is of paramount importance to assess network connectivity between vehicles and surrounding environment so that data traverse is faster in a most efficient manner and change the way of mobility to an advanced version with driverless cars.
- Development of miniaturized solutions for highly integrated connectivity
V2X technology to be used in autonomous vehicles has increased the number of links in networks and decreased the size for sensors and actuators. In-vehicle networks will require cables and connecters which are lean in size and light in weight. This means manufacturers need to craft automotive grade miniaturized and highly integrated connectivity solutions that will be placed in a much denser configuration.
With everything becoming automated in this era, the development of autonomous vehicles is definitely a revolution and will bring more comfort to people seated as mere passengers and not as drivers who need to take driving decisions every now and then. They can make use of mobile data connections to do other activities such as read latest news on smartphones/tablets, participate in video conferences, or shop online while on their journey. All this is possible with fastest as ever 5G mobile communications deployed to create the future of mobility and integrated with data connectivity, empowering a new generation of cars.