5G, MEC and Location: Key for Future of Connected Vehicle

Connected Car

Spotlight on Connected Vehicle | TelecomDrive.com

When we imagine the future of autonomous vehicles, the collaboration between 5G, MEC and hyper-precise location technology is at the center of its adoption.

5G’s low latency and high bandwidth, MEC’s compute power and ability to handle large amounts of data, and the centimeter level accuracy of hyper-precise location services are essential building blocks to this future.

These technological building blocks will be as important as the engines, fuel and parts that power the vehicles of today. This evolution powered by technology will change how we move through the streets, stop lights and traffic in the future. The automotive evolution seen using 5G, MEC and location data impacts connected, autonomous and electric vehicle safety and data transfer in order to optimize the transportation of the future.


Through this master transformation for connected and autonomous vehicles, the auto industry continues to search for solutions that create a safer and more efficient road environment.

Cellular networks will play a critical role in powering collision avoidance solutions, alerting drivers in near real time to detect other vehicles, pedestrians, and more to help avoid collisions. 5G’s low latency can give autonomous vehicles the ability to process surroundings faster and make near-real time decisions when needed most.

For example, let’s say a pedestrian turns a corner and walks in front of a vehicle. The technology at hand today just isn’t fast enough to allow automobiles to safely navigate dynamic events and cooperatively share data with other users on the road.

Autonomous vehicles today have sensors like cameras, radar, LiDAR for short range of communication, but where a 5G network adds value is the high speed, low latency communication that can allow these vehicles to see past the normal line of sight, helping them to better detect risk of collision and react in near-real time.

An important ingredient for increased road safety will be the use of hyper precise location data. Autonomous vehicles armed with location data that is accurate to within centimeters is beyond what we see in GPS technology today.

Solutions like Hyper Precise Location with Real Time Kinematics (RTK) and Collision Avoidance AI can identify lane level accuracy, predict travel paths and gain contextual understanding necessary to increase pedestrian and vehicle safety. Hyper-precise positioning can provide redundancy and mitigate limitations with on-board sensors.

When combined with HD maps and on-board perception sensors, it can provide a very accurate spatial and temporal localization under different ambient conditions.


Data will become the fuel of the future that can be harnessed and exchanged between vehicles, helping to give them advantages over human drivers.

Necessary to this data transfer is the compute and storage power of MEC and 5G’s high bandwidth that can facilitate a seamless transfer of large amounts of data that can change the way autonomous vehicles communicate with each other.

By bringing data and resources from the cloud closer to a 5G network, you can achieve a lower round trip latency, making near-real time inference and alerts possible. Not only will autonomous vehicles be able to anticipate another vehicle approaching, but they will also be able to transfer significant amounts of data to each other in near real time when they are in the same vicinity.

This is expected to allow autonomous vehicles to learn about the patterns of other vehicles, gain more visibility, and anticipate warning signs.

In order to recognize what’s going on and safely operate, vehicles connected to 5G and MEC should be able to handle the massive amounts of data that communicate location, fuel, energy, and environmental information.

5G’s high bandwidth is expected to improve vehicle-to-vehicle communication, allowing autonomous vehicles a seamless transfer of data from neighboring connected and autonomous vehicles, giving them a better understanding of their environment and visibility to make improved decisions.

A number of speed bumps remain but 5G, MEC and location services are expected to provide a safer and more efficient transfer of data that improves transportation. Meeting the complex demands of a self-driving future requires a network with the speeds to make pivotal decisions that affect safety, the capacity to handle large data transfers, and location accuracy that positions vehicles and provides contextual understanding.

While the collaboration of 5G, MEC and location services that power autonomous vehicles can be seen in certain test locations today, it’s only a matter of time before this crucial technology will be accessible and ulitized everywhere.