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5G Connectivity Coming to Cars in a Big Way

ABI predicts 83 million vehicles will be equipped with the technology by 2035
#BMW #Ford #Volkswagen

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The ramp-up of 5G connectivity is going to be fast and massive.

Carmakers and suppliers are beginning to develop applications this year with plans to launch the first batch of 5G-based systems in 2022, according to a new study by ABI Research. From there, the London-based firm predicts breakneck growth:

  • 41 million 5G connected vehicles by 2030
  • 83 million by 2035
  • $17 trillion in global GDP contribution by 2035

FCC Approval of 5G for C-V2X

Deployments will be fueled in large part by the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to advance a proposal to open part of the 5.9 GHz band to be used by cellular-vehicle-to-everything applications (C-V2X).

The spectrum previously had been reserved for the rival DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) protocol. About 20 years ago, the FCC set aside 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for safety related vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies. But the auto industry is just now starting to develop such systems, which previously were cost prohibitive due to the amount of computing power required.

Under the new proposal, the upper band would be allocated for C-V2X. The FCC is seeking comment on whether the rest would be used for DSRC.

ABI expects 5G will account for more than 75% of C-V2X equipped vehicles.

Speedy Benefits

High-speed 5G networks allow for real-time sharing of traffic information and precise location detection. They also can transmit much more data than current 4G LTE systems, and with one-tenth the latency.

Such systems can help enable automated vehicle functionality, the streaming of in-vehicle videos and other data, improved safety and as much as a one-third reduction in fuel consumption due to improved traffic coordination.

ABI says safety and traffic benefits should start by 2023 as vehicles begin to communicate with each other. Ford has committed to equip all of its vehicles in the U.S. with C-V2X by then. BMW and Volkswagen Group also are starting pilot programs to test the technology.

ABI’s “5G in Automotive and Smart Transportation” report can be purchased here. More information is available from the 5G Automotive Association.

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