Not so long ago self-driven or autonomous cars were only seen in science fiction movies. The scenario has changed today as partially automated vehicles powered by autonomous car software and resilient 5G networks can already be seen on our roads. As a result, autonomous driving is no longer just a dream and it has very much become part of our reality today.
What is Autonomous Car
By definition, an autonomous car means that the car is fully independent in making driving decisions and responding to multiple levels of situations and road scenarios, including emergencies. So an autonomous car does not need a driver or any external intervention for being driven from one place to another.
Enabling an even faster connection between transport systems, the 5G network is helping vendors to embrace new and innovative autonomous car software and develop new application options advancing the development of autonomous cars to the next level.
Moving forward, not only will autonomous car be able to make independent decisions in the future, it will also communicate and cooperate with each other.
Driven by wireless technology autonomous car software and high-speed internet connection, connected cars with their digital and location-related services can greatly improve our driving comfort and reinvent the overall traveling experience.
The car depends on seamless integration with regular data updates for navigation, e.g. detailed road maps, plus updates in unexpected traffic situations, such as congestion, rain, or black ice.
In combination with innovative software and applications for the driver and cloud systems, information for maintenance or other status reports can be retrieved and sent over high-speed networks.
5G network expands automated eco-systems
Next generation ready 5G networks are expanding automated ecosystems where machines can deliver greater level of reliability in terms of performing their tasks driven by high-speed 5G networks.
Safety aspect is most certainly a big focus of attention for driving a car in autonomous mode. 5G offers special features for safety-relevant requirements that no other wireless network can provide.
Automated systems reach their limits when unexpected or unknown situations occur.
And in such a scenario an “autopilot” will decide to deactivate the system for safety reasons, if in doubt. And hence, upon activation – an automated car would then return the task and responsibility of driving to the human driver.
In the 5G, era, the autonomous car could, for instance, be controlled remotely by an external operator acting as traffic controller. The remote control through an operator is, however, definitely impossible without a 5G network, which offers key features such as very short response times and guaranteed network resources uptime for the car.
Benefits of 5G for autonomous driving
One of the biggest benefit of a 5G network comes in the form of network slicing. As in this case, the wireless network is subdivided into different virtual network levels. And in such a network scenario, one network level can exclusively be used for automated driving, for instance and this can translate towards greater level of uptime for the communications links between network and the car.
This also ensures that safety-relevant notifications to self-driving cars will not face traffic jam situation on the data highway and will be given priority over other infotainment services used in parallel.
Additionally, the software code for autonomous car applications is written in such a way that virtual network levels and short transmission paths guarantee important quality features of the 5G mobile technology, such as low latencies and high bandwidths.
Autonomous car driving also uses sensors which are used to implement car-to-car communication for automated driving. This includes intelligent camera systems, which enable the direct exchange of data between the cars.
This is where the 5G network offers another big advantage. The mobile technology expands the scope of autonomous mobility through direct, fast and broadband data communication with cars and an appropriately equipped transport infrastructure, such as traffic lights.
The automation of vehicles happens gradually, however. Fully automated driving, which can operate reliably in a large number of driving situations, is only the final stage of a long-lasting process. Half of all cars are already equipped with intelligent assistance systems today and most of this is innovative software driven. These are digital navigations systems, parking assistance, or speed regulation systems using cruise control as well as distance-regulation systems.
Moving forward, as more and more telecom networks embrace 5G technology, evolution of innovative autonomous software capabilities are set to accelerate market acceptance of autonomous car and create new possibilities in elevating car experience.