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Connected cars: How 5G will Shape the Cars of the Future

How 5G will Shape the Cars of the Future

One of the industries where 5G will have a major impact in the coming years is the automotive industry. In this article we offer you a glimpse into the near future and show you how BMW, Audi, Volvo, Ford and Genesis want to shape their connected cars with 5G.

 Connected cars: How 5G will Shape the Cars of the Future

5G offers many benefits to the automotive industry. After all, an incredible amount of data can be sent with it at lightning speed: essential for the development of car-to-car communication. Cars are increasingly getting an internet connection. Mainly to provide infotainment to driver and passengers. In the future, cars will increasingly communicate with each other and with the infrastructure. For example, they can improve traffic flow, prevent accidents and warn drivers of possible danger or nuisance on the route. The following five examples show how car brands are integrating 5G into their cars and production processes.


Find and unlock cars from Audi, BMW, Ford and Genesis with your Galaxy S21

Samsung has partnered with Audi, BMW, Ford and Genesis to enable a key digital experience for its new Galaxy S21 series. Samsung announced this during the Galaxy Unpacked 'Welcome to the Everyday Epic' event on January 14.

In the near future and a subsequent rollout, it will be possible to use the devices from the new Galaxy S21 series (contactless) to unlock your car door as soon as you are close to the compatible vehicle. The process is powered by UWB, but NFC is also supported.

With an accurate distance calculation, Samsung's UWB-compatible digital key sends short pulses between the mobile device and the connected car. This will unlock the car door as soon as you are in the area. These features are not exclusive to Samsung devices. Digital car keys should also work with iPhones and other Android devices and share digital keys between brands seamlessly.


Connected car: BMW iNEXT equipped with 5G technology from Samsung and HARMAN

Both companies were development partners of the BMW Group for a long time. They continue to help car manufacturers develop necessary innovations to meet the ever-changing needs of the rapidly developing automotive market.


Samsung and HARMAN presented key automotive technologies including: ADAS, AI, semiconductors, memory, batteries, user interface, car radio, driving experiences and 5G. The 5G-compatible TCU combines some of these key technologies and connects external networks with on-board electronic systems. This provides necessary, real-time information to drivers in different road situations. Some of the main capabilities include downloading high-resolution, HD maps in real time and V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) to provide risk assessment and blind spot information to the driver. Furthermore, Samsung showed off its new compliant antenna technology, which can be integrated with the 5G-ready TCU. It replaces the old external shark fin antenna for cars and supports stable network connections.


Audi's smart factory with 5G technology

A small robotic arm moves to an airbag with the Audi logo, gently grabs it and places it precisely in the nearby steering wheel. In the future, this process will be repeated every day at the Audi factory of the future. Everything works wirelessly thanks to 5G technology.

This is one of the first use cases for automation, which focuses on the safety of human employees. In this case, this means that the gripper arm stops if, for example, a human hand comes within the range of the robot. This is done very flexibly with 5G. The control of the robot is decentralized and wireless and the data transfer is just as efficient as with a wired connection. The technology behind the 5G network robotic gripper arm is being developed by Audi in collaboration with Ericsson. They are exploring the use of 5G technology in the industry that will make smart factories a reality.

Mobile and flexible

Until now, the robots in Audi production facilities have been connected with cables, which limits their mobility. The 5G network improves this, because it allows machines to work completely wirelessly. “That has many practical advantages. On the one hand, there are simply no more cables in the way. But on the other hand, production processes are becoming more complex and need to be more flexible. 5G technology is the solution to the challenges in modern manufacturing:

5G offers a secure and stable connection in several ways: it offers a mobile communication spectrum that is only available for industrial use. And it provides a Quality of Services mechanism. This makes it possible to give priority to different applications within the network.

It has a low latency, ie a short transmission and reception time for wireless signals. This makes it possible to wirelessly operate smart factory systems in real time.

Industrial IoT: what makes 5G possible in the smart factory of the future?

Existing wireless technologies cannot meet the future needs of a smart factory. The world of industry, with its enormous, complex robotic systems, simply cannot be compared to the wireless telephones and televisions with Wi-Fi that we have at home. The industrial IoT (IIoT) needs more, namely 5G. In these cases, we see 5G as an addition to Wi-Fi. The technology is so powerful that it will enable many new use cases, ”Kolb explains. For example, he thinks of mobile, autonomous transport systems. These currently communicate via Wi-Fi, but still suffer from dropped connections and errors. Or cordless tools, such as screwdrivers, scanners and other portable electronic devices. One thing is certain: with 5G, man and machine are efficiently and reliably connected. The smart factory will keep getting smarter, of which this small robotic arm is the start.


Volvo Cars and China Unicom are collaborating on 5G network technology for use in China

Both companies will collaborate to research, develop and test 5G in-car applications and the emerging vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology. With this, both parties want to realize improvements in the field of safety, sustainability, customer satisfaction and autonomous driving.


5G capabilities for connected cars

5G is many times faster than its predecessor 4G, has a larger data capacity and a very short response time. As more data can be transferred to and from cars faster and with a shorter response time, more applications in cars are possible. When a car is made aware of traffic problems on the route, such as road works, traffic jams or accidents, it can take preventive action by slowing down or proposing a different route. This is beneficial for road safety and vehicle consumption. Other 5G possibilities for connected cars are finding a parking space faster with traffic cameras and communicating with traffic lights to enable a 'green wave' at an optimal speed.


The cooperation with China Unicom makes it possible for Volvo to be well prepared for the current requirements in the world's largest car market and to play an important role in the field of V2X. Volvo expects to introduce 5G connectivity with the next generation of Volvo models, based on the new generation of the modular vehicle platform SPA2.


Ford unlocks potential of 5G for forward-looking connected car manufacturing

Last year, Vodafone Business began installing a 5G private mobile network in the new E: PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility on Ford's Dunton Campus. This 5G solution solves many of the wireless connectivity issues in the industrial environment. It provides fewer delays, greater bandwidth, better security and reliability, and faster deployment time.


When installation is complete, E: PriME Dunton will have the fastest possible connectivity in addition to the consortium's second network at welding research specialists TWI, based in Cambridge. The connected equipment from both locations provides real-time remote monitoring, analysis and expert support, so new production processes are ready for the shop floor.


Welding machine connectivity

Ford will focus on the connectivity of the welding machines in the production of electric vehicles. The batteries and electric motors in an electric vehicle require about 1,000 welds. For a single vehicle, this could provide more than half a million data every minute. Fast, reliable, high-capacity data collection and analysis is therefore an important requirement for these processes. Connecting the data with experts, such as TWI and manufacturers, is critical if processes are to evolve at the same pace as these innovative products require.

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