5G phone networks may make autonomous driving and vehicle sensors more sensitive and reliable, but will the faster networks also increase driver distractions?
A Spanish automotive company has demonstrated how 5G capability will improve inter-vehicle communication to detect vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.
Ficosa used Barcelona’s 5G network to demonstrate its Bitax telematic platform which combines Wi-Fi and cellular technology to operate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) technology.
V2V and V2X uses sensors in each vehicle to detect the other, or an obstacle and then send alerts to the other vehicle to avoid a collision.
However, Ficosa is the first to launch the technology after connecting 500 vehicles in Denver, Colorado.
In its Barcelona demonstration, Ficosa showed how Bitax could detect a pedestrian via a thermal camera in traffic lights, a cyclist equipped with a “high-precision geolocation” unit and a car stopped by the roadside in low-light conditions.
The company says this proves the tech can also detect other vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.
“These use cases show how C-V2X technology offers a safer and more comfortable driving experience by allowing the vehicle to communicate with everything around it (other cars, traffic lights, traffic signals, pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes, etc).
“For cars to ‘talk’ to the city, however, latency must be kept to a minimum. So, it is essential to roll out 5G capabilities.”
That means they need the higher-frequency signals of the next-generation network which has shorter range but less radio interference.
However, there are advantages and disadvantages in the faster network.
Speeds can be up to 10Gbps which is about 1000 times faster than most 4G signals. It is claimed it will download a movie in 10 seconds.
That would make it even faster than the best broadband network.