On the road to a connected vehicle future.

Connected and autonomous vehicles will transform the world of transportation as we know it. Although autonomous and self-driving vehicles are still years away from widespread usage, 5G networks are deploying today that will provide the broad coverage, speed, and low latency needed as a foundation for anticipated advances in transportation.

In-car infotainment.

Many elements of vehicular infotainment are already in place, such as navigation systems, entertainment, and the ability to access information that your vehicle does not readily provide to you in the way of traffic updates and warnings.

But as we move toward self-driving vehicles, the focus shifts to making the most of the in-car multimedia experience. Gaming and live-streaming movie watching are just a couple of the infotainment features we can expect, which of course create opportunities for advertisers.

Without a need for a human driver, the main focus in the car will shift to what people can do with their time. It’s easy to imagine that the typical commuter would start their workday in the car, with the ability to do pretty much everything they could do at their desk, including joining meetings, sharing presentations and other collaborative work.

This connectivity will rely on what 5G has to offer: high data speeds, in the hundreds of megabits per second; the ability to retain connections and handoffs at fairly high speeds; and a network density of hundreds of thousands of devices per square kilometer.

Interconnected vehicles.

The smarter that vehicles get, whether driven by humans or traveling autonomously, the greater the need to connect to the world around them.

Virtually all the vehicles of the future will communicate with each other, with traffic lights, and other control devices via live traffic updates. Traffic jams should become much less of a headache, as vehicles take advantage of features such as seamless lane control, intelligent positioning, and the ability to preemptively adapt to speed changes.

Again, the capabilities of 5G, with its high capacity, low latency, network density, and the ability to handle communications among vehicles moving at street and highway speeds, will be essential.

Autonomous vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles are clearly the future of transportation, and even though it will take time to get to a world where most vehicles are self-driving, the industry is on that path already.

In the five stages of vehicular autonomy, the industry is at the second stage, one in which a car is capable of some autonomous functions, but still requires constant attention from the driver. The fifth and final stage is when a car requires no input from a human to drive.

5G is just the beginning spectrum evolution that will pave the way for autonomous vehicles.

At that time, autonomous vehicles will become essentially computing platforms on wheels. Estimates suggest that a typical autonomous vehicle will use several terabytes of data a day.

This data will need to be uploaded to a cloud platform and analyzed via artificial intelligence, with actionable insights provided to the vehicle in near-real time to help keep passengers both safe and on time.

When you consider how many vehicles will be on the road and the volume of data that must be handled for an efficient transportation system, the numbers are staggering. 5G is just the beginning spectrum evolution that will pave the way for autonomous vehicles.

Without a fast, reliable network that can handle all these demands, the world of connected vehicles that we envision simply would not be possible. 5G will help drive us to the connected vehicle future.

To learn more about this driverless revolution, see what Fiat Chrysler America is doing to enable a future of complete automotive autonomy.

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