In days to come, connectivity could take on a whole new significance in your daily drive, thanks to the speed of 5G connections and their low latency, which offers a more responsive user experience.
5G networks are more future than present – Singapore will only be rolling out the technology in 2020 – but with 20 times faster data speeds than current 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks, their contribution to the Internet of Things (IoT), including vehicle connectivity, will be invaluable.
WHEN SPEED SAVES LIVES
With fast wireless data communications, roads will be potentially safer. Panasonic’s Network Operations Center in Denver, which is currently focused on smart mobility, is working on a way to give connected cars the potential to save lives.
The network can remotely monitor the airbags of a vehicle. If the airbags deploy, the system will know a car has been in a serious crash. It can despatch emergency services to the exact location, and forewarn other vehicles in the same network.
In situations like these, response time is key, and 5G’s high speed and low latency are absolutely critical.
CROWDSOURCING FOR CARS
This is only one of many ways 5G can positively impact the auto industry. 5G networks will offer enough bandwidth for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connectivity, and even vehicle-to-anything (V2X) connectivity, inclusive of infrastructure and a multitude of access points.
Essentially, cars within a single connected system can provide real-time updates about the status of the environment and road conditions through data pooled from designated touch points. Think of it as car crowdsourcing, with information flowing seamlessly.
Tech startup Code42.ai is keen to get started on such an ecosystem. Along with car manufacturer Hyundai, Code42.ai is delving deep into artificial intelligence (AI), self-driving vehicles, precision maps, robotics, and computer vision – all crucial elements of a future mobility ecosystem.
"Code42.ai's insights on future mobility ecosystem and service platform can accelerate Hyundai's goal to transform into a smart mobility systems provider," said Hyundai's executive vice-chairman Chung Eui-sun.
Other players are working on similar systems. With K-City, Samsung Electronics has, in collaboration with the Korean Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA), also made advances towards a smart and connected future. K-City is the company’s test bed for autonomous driving technology and is spread across a 360,000 sqm plot of land.
According to Samsung, “the site will eventually become the centre of research for autonomous driving and connected cars, which will spearhead the future growth of 5G industries”.
MACHINE LEARNING TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES
Vehicles in the city operate across various wireless networks, including 5G and V2X, and are subjected to a wide variety of real-life challenges — the sort of situations that you or I might find routine, but could flummox a microprocessor.
For instance, while drivers can easily differentiate between a bicycle and motorcycle, autonomous systems may not yet be able to do so. Machine learning and AI will teach them eventually, especially when 5G connects every car to serious computing power in the cloud.
In fact, some studies state that up to 75 billion devices could be connected to the IoT network by 2025. This means that data transmission, boosted by high-speed 5G, will reach an all-time high. This also means that there will be unprecedented demand to utilise information more efficiently, necessitating mobility ecosystems that can perform at a competent level.
One such example is the partnership among Hyundai, SK Telecom and US-based software company Trimble. To better anticipate connectivity-related issues in the future, the trio will use 5G in construction, namely for the development of solutions to real-time safety management and AI-based operations.
If 5G is around the corner, some of its promise is being realised now. Recently launched at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, the Hyundai Sonata and Venue offer stepping stones to this ecosystem with a host of advanced connectivity options and features like a digital key (on the Sonata) and Blue Link integration.
The Hyundai Digital Key is an Android app that uses NFC (near-field communication) wireless data communication to control selected vehicle systems remotely. Besides granting drivers access to their vehicles without the need for a traditional key (that will still come with the car), the app can also be used to tailor different levels of access to different drivers.
Blue Link gives the car a host of abilities that include remote start enhancements, remote profile management and remote door lock/unlock.
Also seen in the Sonata and Venue, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) make use of radar sensors, ultrasonic sensors and cameras to further ensure the safety of those in the vehicle. With 5G capability, these sensors and cameras can contribute in a more holistic manner by disseminating key information, on top of giving the passengers on board a secure ride.
In the impending future of vehicular communications, 5G’s role will certainly not be constrained to infotainment. The act of driving could mean much more than what it stands for now, but if that new advent comes with increased safety and mobility, drivers should have no problems getting their heads into the cloud.
Visit Hyundai Singapore to find out more about its range of EVs, hybrids and petrol-engined cars.