Last spring, the European Commission and the European Parliament adopted a regulation that favored a Wi-Fi standard for autonomous driving. The European Council, however, overturned the regulation.
The third instance was one too many. The European Council rejected the delegated regulation supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU. There is a lot room for speculation about the reason for this. The most likely, however, is that in the communication technology for autonomous driving, the new mobile standard 5G was not sufficiently considered. The regulation planned the introduction of the WLAN standard 802.11p – also called ITS-G5, for the fast, safety-critical transmission of traffic information from vehicle to vehicle V2V and vehicle to infrastructure V2X. In addition, the older mobile phone standards 3G and 4G should provide for the transmission of less urgent information. However, more and more car and telecommunications companies advocated against it.
5G Association founded
In order to push the fifth generation of mobile standards, automotive manufacturers, suppliers and telecom companies founded the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) in 2016. The founders include Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm. Today, there are over 110 members who support the goal of developing end-to-end solutions for future mobility and transport services – and not just at the European level. Especially in China, the 5G standard for autonomous driving is favored.
It was not enough for the stakeholders to state explicitly that “a review clause should facilitate the integration of several existing technologies such as LTE-V2X (a short-range mobile communications technology) and 5G (a range of next-generation mobile technologies). In addition, the Commission should discuss possible changes to this delegated regulation with an expert group in an open and transparent manner and keep it regularly informed of progress and possible next steps.
ITS-G5 ready to start
But 5G is not ready yet. Although the Federal Network Agency ended the auction for the first 5G frequencies in June, it will still take a few years until a network suitable for everyday use has been set up. The WLAN standard 802.11p, however, is immediately available. With it, the automakers could get started and install the necessary communication technology for autonomously driving cars. The European institutions wanted to accelerate this and create legal certainty. This will be postponed until another solution is found.
More about 5G in our blog:
First 5G networks are available
5G-Cybersicherheit: Die EU hat es eilig
WLAN technology preferred for autonomous driving