Imagine pressing a button and your car is ready at your doorstep. You say your destination out loud and it drives you there and all you have to do is sip coffee and take all your Skype calls on the move. Sounds like a scene from high-tech future movie, right? But this fiction is all set to soon become an everyday reality.
The 5G cellular technology is the next great leap for the automotive industry. 5G isn’t just going to be about fast web browsing, quick movie streaming, lighting fast gaming or improved communications at work, home or on the move. It’s going to play a big part on how you get from A to B. 5G is all set to turn your car into a talking, thinking supercomputer. Faster, safer and efficient, this new technology will revolutionize India’s vehicles and roads. With India taking giant strides in its telecom revolution in the last two decades, 5G will play a crucial role in making the Digital India dream a reality and the change is coming way sooner than you expect it.
High-Speed Connectivity to Advance Connected Vehicles
The high-speed connectivity will facilitate connected vehicle technology enabling features like advanced safety equipment, real-time vehicle diagnostics, improved interface and autonomous vehicles, all set to make their way to the shore set. Vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure and vehicle-to-outside infrastructure will enable an in-car system to monitor the vehicle and its surroundings. Therefore, not only does one know where the vehicle is headed but one can also receive updates on traffic, cyclists, pedestrians, crossings and other structures going around. Due to this connectivity, traffic could be easily controlled and one can automatically reroute themselves to quicker paths in turn controlling and maintaining an effective flow of vehicles. More precise GPS location information will be able to display street names and overlaid camera images of places in addition to critical navigation assistance.
Adding to the potential of this speedy connectivity are the autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles require sensors to generate unprecedented amounts of data which requires incredible data processing capabilities and speed needed to mimic the timing of human reflexes. 5G therefore will be crucial for autonomous vehicles to include specific safety measures in the vehicle. For example, in times of emergency, the autopilot feature might hand the reins over to the driver. However, in the case of an elderly or a disabled rider this can prove to be fatal. For this reason, many tech companies are developing remote pilots who will be trained drivers sitting in a simulator that can take over instantly. But, to achieve this, a stable and fast connection offered by 5G would be required. Additionally, 5G will provide passengers in self-driving cars with high-quality infotainment services, bringing data in and out of the car for passenger and driver consumption.
Today’s modern cars boast of Wi-Fi hotspot feature that allows passengers’ mobile devices to share an on-board connection. Although it is pretty fast, it can get bogged down when everyone in the car is streaming music, video and data. That’s where 5G comes in. A 5G connection will work both ways and there will be benefits to both the driver and the automaker from being able to draw more data out of the car, including better remote monitoring and faster remote control of autonomous cars. As cars are moving towards electrification, they need to be connected to the web in one way or another. 5G in electric vehicles would not only help monitor battery levels and charging status but also help in searching for charging stations and smart route planning.
5G to Enable Continental’s Advance Technologies
India is well positioned to adopt the 5G technology and it has already laid foundation with key ecosystem players such as Continental to create a conducive environment. Continental is making use of the available system to build technologies that will advantage from the coming of 5G. The company has developed various functions enabling cars to take pre-emptive action against potential risks such as the Continental eHorizon. The eHorizon functions as an anticipatory visual sensor which speculates the condition of the roads ahead and interacts with the control system to achieve accident-free driving. It works as an additional virtual sensor that networks data from various different sources, assesses it and intelligently relays it to other vehicles.
Continental is also using artificial intelligence to create models which are able to detect road objects and predict arising hazardous situations. These models can react to changing conditions and use input and output data to adjust functions. Additionally, neural networks are used for image processing and object detection. Continental has also established a system for pedestrian safety. Turn-assist systems for cars by Continental constitutes of short range radar for accurate detection of vehicle surroundings. The radar system can help monitor blind spots while turning, intersections and warn the driver of hidden pedestrians preventing collision. In addition to this, intelligent street lamps developed by Continental help manage flow of traffic and collect data which can be used to control signal changes and reduce emissions and energy.
In addition to these, Continental has also revolutionized how digital assistants work. Their voice-activated digital companion understands multiple questions and enables natural dialogue. It can detect logical connections and hence provide distraction free-operation. When it comes to visual aesthetic, Continental has enhanced intelligent glass control connecting car windows to on-board computer. The main intent of this technology is to provide comfort through automatic or manual discolouration of the glass.
It’s important to realize that 5G means the network is ready, not just for your cellphone but millions of other devices. 5G will help humans connect to everything thus being the next frontier in machine-to-machine communication. The fifth-generation wireless technology in India is expected to connect almost everything around us with an ultra-fast, highly reliable, and fully responsive network. 5G will allow us to reach and enjoy the full potential of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Considering the promise of 5G to bring safer and smarter automotive innovations, 5G would lead to remarkable developments in India.