5G: Highly automated driving need fast networks

5G: Highly automated driving need fast networks

While the vehicle manufacturers introduce the first highly automated cars and trucks and test them on selected roads, communication technology is still lagging behind. Not until 2020, with 5G, the fifth generation of mobile phone standard will be coming to create sufficient capacity for communication between vehicles and the infrastructure.

The experts on the ITS World Congress held in October 2015 in Bordeaux were quick to agree that there will probably be no uniform global standard for communication between vehicles and infrastructure systems (V2X). “However, at least a harmonization of standards will be necessary,” said Marco Annoni, spokesman of the Telekom Italia. It is precisely the M2M communication for the Internet of things that needs global rules so that the units can exchange their information at any point of the earth.

True Power with 5G

A technique that will remain important, are the mobile phone standards. After the 4th generation with Long Time Evolution (LTE) Annoni expects the 5th generation of mobile standards by 2020, which could then also make the deployment of broadband networks in the area dispensable. After all, the 5th generation with up to ten gigabytes per second could be able to perform a multiple compared to LTE data throughput. The current version reaches a maximum of 300 megabytes per second. At the same time reliability will be placed at 99.999 percent. Current users can only dream of that right now.

Latencies below one millisecond

Basically the ITC industry relies on the next mobile radio standard, because the latency should then fall to under one millisecond. Thus, the technique could also be interesting in use for communication between vehicles. Only when information such as abrupt braking can be transferred from one vehicle to another within milliseconds, a necessary reaction time on the part of the other vehicles is possible.

But still the course needs to be set, as formulated by the focus group 5G “platform for digital networks and mobility” in their outcome document of the 9th national IT summit in 2015 in Berlin. For one thing for the next generation of mobile communications many free bandwidths that are also affordable are still missing. The focus group especially points at the missing areas of 6-24 GHz. In addition, an exclusive frequency assignment is necessary, so that the players get a certain predictability. As a third point, the focus group demands a powerful connection of the radio stations. Here, the glass fiber content must grow rapidly to provide a powerful infrastructure. The group also calls for balanced rules on net neutrality.

With the fifth generation of mobile phone standards a technique could arise, which makes highly automated driving a more realistic idea, because behind the rapid communication between the vehicles still stands a big question mark, while individual vehicles can run on selected routes already. A communication with each other on the other hand is still missing.

Image sources: Canstockphoto, Fotolia

Ralf Johanning

Ralf Johanning studied political science and works as a freelance journalist. For over ten years now he reports on the transportation and logistics industry. The priorities include topics such as telematics, software, and ICT. In 2006 the trained editor, Head, and Press Officer founded the editorial office Alte Schule with his partner Ann-Christin Wimber.

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