By 2030, the world will see 41 million 5G-connected cars on the smart city roads. The prediction comes from the 5G in automotive and smart transportation application analysis report. This number will rise to a whopping 83 million by 2035. A three-quarter of these 5G-connected cars will be cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) equipped cars.
As per research, the 5G C-V2X cars will enhance road safety and improve the traffic ecosystem. Simultaneously, it will also reduce the use of fossil fuels by up to one-third. What’s more important?
The technology of sharing sensor data in these cars will focus on the protection of the vulnerable road users. These include pedestrians and cyclists. With 5G-based cellular connectivity in cars, experts also foresee the possibility of achieving the ‘vision of zero road traffic deaths.
But how exactly do these cars operate? Let us take a brief look.
The Mechanism Of 5G-Enabled C-V2X Cars
Cellular V2X is a global system of vehicle-to-everything communication. Its design intends to improve road safety and promote smart transportation such as automated driving. The concept is developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Organisation.
The C-V2X uses 3GPP standardised 4G LTE or 5G mobile cellular connectivity. This helps it to send and receive signals from a vehicle to other vehicles, people and objects. In other words, it connects to other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other fixed objects such as traffic lights in its vicinity. It works without network assistance and has a range of more than a mile.
So, C-V2X establishes communication with moving objects on the road and the roadside infrastructure. This helps C-V2X-enabled cars to keep the focus on decreasing the number of fatal road accidents. And as this technology advances, it is anticipated to have expanded safety features.
Thanks to technology, it is gaining significant attention from almost every mobile operator and automobile industry giants. Some of the big names like Audi, BMW, Tesla and Toyota are teaming up to implement C-V2X trials for commercial deployment.
Potential Of 5G Technology In The Automated Vehicle Industry
Audi and Ericsson entered a partnership in 2018 with the aim to work on a series of 5G connected car initiatives. One of their first projects is a 5G-enabled automation application that focuses on personal safety.
Both Audi and Ericsson have been testing the use of 5G wireless network technology for the production of vehicles. Their partnership is showcasing the potential of wireless communication in production at an early stage.
5G networks offer ultra-low latency which will act as the driving force that enables connected cars to progress exponentially. As per Marie Hogan, head of mobile broadband & IoT at Ericsson, 5G satisfies the performance requirements of industrial automation.
Further, Hogan says that 5G combines all points in their production environment leading to enormous improvements in flexibility and connectivity. As a result, it “shows how humans and robots can work together safely.”
Therefore, this is the first time that highly advanced applications and system-critical IoT networking come together to offer greater flexibility, mobility and efficiency. This in terms of production automation.
Currently, the team is testing the potential of 5G technology for industrial application in the Audi Production Lab. These kinds of projects are intended to understand more about how wireless networks can be used optimally in a smart factory. The statement comes from Dr Henning Löser, head of the Audi Production Lab.
The First Car To Hit The Roads Of China
Recently, China Telecom has announced the first production car in the world enabled with 5G technology. The car is named ‘HiPhi 1’ by HiPhi, a subsidiary brand of Human Horizons. The company is a part of the intelligent company’s “3 Smart” strategic blueprint. This includes smart vehicles, smart transportation and smart cities.
The aim of Human Horizons is to develop smart transportation technologies that transform the meaning of human mobility. And this is to contribute to the advancement of smart cities. In partnership with China Telecom, the company will work on 5G technology research and implementation. The focus will be in the areas of the “3 Smart” strategic blueprint.
Coming to HiPhi, the car will have the world’s first human-oriented architecture (HOA). The HOA is self-adaptive and learns to create diversified solutions to enhance user experience.
It consists of a ‘neural network’ of four ‘super brain’ domain controllers and six microprocessing units (MPUS) connected by 1G Ethernet. The connectivity provides a higher communication rate than conventional area networks.
The car is capable of analysing massive amounts of data and making decisions. This is as per the claims of the partnership. To do so, the car will make use of cloud computing with a powerful data analysis engine. Altogether, this will give birth to a truly intelligent and smart vehicle.
The HiPhi 1 will run on electricity with a 5G-V2X enabled communication network. It will feature more than five hundred sensors possessing the excellent capability to connect between cars, roads and cities.
As per reports, the automaker’s partnership with China Telecom is one-of-its-kind. This collaboration will help expedite the commercialisation of 5G in the automated vehicles industry. The commercial rollout of HiPhi 1 is expected from the beginning of 2021.
The Roll Out Of HiCar
Huawei’s 5G-based C-V2X HiCar technology is grabbing the attention of many automakers. The technology offers an interface to the car’s core operating system. Alongside, it also aids in connecting a car to everything – from moving to non-moving objects on the road.
It has the capability to connect to traffic lights, cameras and speed limit signals. 30 different auto brands will be using HiCar technology for the arriving models. Huawei has already signed up 18 automakers such as Audi and Toyota to use the technology.
However, the first one to showcase HiCar’s potential on the road will be BYD, China’s largest EV maker. BYD will be using HiCar in its upgraded Han flagship electric sedan. It’s car ‘Han EV’ will make its first appearance in June 2020.
The car will have a slight resemblance to Tesla Model 3 in China in terms of style and initial price (about $40,000). With the use of the latest lithium iron phosphate batteries in multiple pack sizes, the Han EV will traverse up to 375 miles. It reaches a speed of 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Among Chinese battery makers, BYD stands in second place with 10.76 GWh capacity, after battery giant CATL. As the company claims, its blade-shaped design enhances space utilisation by over 50% than other pack layouts. And the design is safer than other competitors.
Why Will 5G Cars First Appear On Chinese Roads?
China has already completed deployment of almost 200,000 5G base stations across the nation. By the end of 2020, the country will have 500,000 5G base stations deployed. The report is as per the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.
The number of 5G base stations is increasing in China. Evidently, China is on the way to becoming the first country to have C-V2X deployed. The rapidly increasing installation of 5G networks will play a huge role in expanding the C-V2X market size.
Not just in China, but other parts of the world as well. We may see it by the first quarter of 2021.