The Hidden 5G Technology Behind Tomorrow’s Connected Cars

Connected cars have long dominated the automotive agenda. Indeed, 125 million of them are expected to be on the road by 2022 as big industry players move to stake their claim in the field.

But what exactly is enabling this new dawn of connectivity, which will see everyday saloon cars transformed into fully interactive mobile vehicles, with functionalities ranging from remote locking to intelligent traffic predictions?

Well, the only technology capable of providing the robust, reliable wireless connections required is 5G – particularly the unlicensed millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum – which offers low-latency, high bandwidth and high performance for a cost-effective price.

The Reality of Connected Vehicles 

Although there are still many steps to be taken before passengers can stream films via our cars’ internet connections, the development of 5G mmWave technology for connected vehicles is a present-day reality.

We have already seen versions of connectivity becoming widely adopted in vehicles, such as Apple’s CarPlay or built-in Bluetooth transmitters, but none of this compares to what will come next. With the introduction of a 5G enabled high-speed wireless network for vehicles, cars will not only be able to connect with passenger devices but will also have the ability to interact with one another and share vital safety data via the Internet of Things (IoT).

There has been an explosion of manufacturers turning to the development of connected cars, such as Tesla and Audi, and companies dedicated to creating software for connected vehicles, such as Ericsson, Intel, and Airbiquity.

 Using 5G For Connected Cars

 5G solves the challenge of providing consistent and powerful internet access at speeds over 250kmph. This represents capabilities that are levels above 4G, with incredibly rapid and seamless handover techniques that provide continuous superfast data sharing between vehicles and devices.

There are many benefits of connected cars that improve safety, user experience, and ease of travel when driving. Safety features include using an app to remotely lock and park cars, manufacturers conducting remote fault diagnoses, and even the car itself automatically alerting authorities when an accident has occurred. Future applications include passengers being able to use the internet access to perform ultra-fast streaming for entertainment.

Connected cars will further have the ability to share data between a network of vehicles. This allows for predictive capabilities such as hazard alerts enabled by roadside IoT sensors, and braking sharing to safeguard against potential accidents. For these developing functions to work efficiently and smoothly they require low-latency, reliable, and powerful connections provided by 5G to ensure the data travels from the source to your car in time for actions to be taken.

The Technology Behind It

Using the mmWave spectrum to enable 5G internet access, reliable, ultra-fast connectivity in our vehicles will become a reality. Blu Wireless use mmWave technology to provide high-quality wireless broadband and safer, smarter, connected vehicles. Our new class of systems have long range, high-speed extensions that can deliver cost effective and high-performance internet solutions for transport in the future.

Blu Wireless are involved in the AutoAir Project – a DCMS funded testbed for 5G connected high speed vehicles. Using trackside mmWave tower modems connected via a fibre network the project achieved an average data throughput of 1.9Gbps to a car travelling at 225kmph. By using 66-71GHz frequencies to achieve these internet data speeds Blu Wireless have made a significant breakthrough in the application of 5G for transport, increasing potential range by at least double.

The Future

The market for engineering connected vehicles and wireless internet connectivity for transport is ever-growing, with revenue predicted to reach $153bn by 2022. The need for low-latency, high-speed, and reliable internet access are now a certainty if the ambitious safety and entertainment capabilities of connected cars are to be achieved to a seamless standard.

mmWave wireless communication technology for 5G will therefore be essential to meet these expected demands for connected cars. Blu Wireless are pioneering cost-effective 5G networks and enabling reliable connectivity for the high-speed transport of the future.

To read more about Blu Wireless products and how they are working towards making 5G applications a reality, visit our website here.