According to Gartner, 5G network is ten times more efficient compared to the 4G network. This has raised the level of network capability to another height. Communication Service Providers (CSPs) can secure future opportunities in the market with autonomous vehicles (AVs) manufacturers in the sector of driver safety and data processing and management. AV sensors and systems will give out unprecedented data volume. The data will give an opportunity to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to get useful data insights while reducing the costs of associated provisioning.
According to a senior research analyst at Gartner, Jonathan Davenport, CSPs are in a position of becoming OEMs’ strategic partners by applying the capabilities of 5G to work on the growth of AV OEM data. AVs will upload more than one terabyte of vehicles and sensor data monthly to the cloud by 2025. Davenport added that to maximize on the opportunity, CSPs should ensure that 5G is part of the design of the future vehicles in the connectivity and safety fields. This is because those are the areas that have the most significant opportunities.
Moreover, 5G will offer AVs’ passengers a high-quality information service. According to Davenport 5G networks make CSPs a vital partner for enhanced vehicle system either safety, entertainment of analytics. There is an opportunity for 5G technology to develop and expand safety system of AV. All this is facilitated by examination of the safety performance of AVs by regulators. The recent outcomes of AVS have led to negative press and the understanding of the importance of safety in self-driving vehicles. Moreover, the events brought out the challenges facing the industry to build autonomous driving systems that can assure a safety performance above one of the human drivers.
Occasionally AVs goes through challenges that they cannot overcome therefore calling for the need of a human vehicle handover. The handover deactivates the autonomous mode and gives back the control to a human driver. However, the transfer is not usually a guarantee that it will always work out. The solution in occasions where the handover fails is the use of remote pilots. Human drivers can receive the planned remote transfer or assist recover a stuck AV. It calls for the reliability and low latency that can be provided by 5G for the safe use of human-led remote control of AVs. The moment it is initiated the tech will give a chance to human technicians using remote facilities to access vehicle diagnostics and live videos from the AV and virtually take over the driving.
The evolution of AVs’ regulatory environment will force the regulators to have remote control of capabilities from operators or AV OEMs to improve the safety of public roads. Phantom Auto from California is building remote control solutions for AVs through cellular connectivity. OEM Scania a truck and bus from Sweeden have carried out piloting with Ericsson of 5G remote control capabilities for its public buses.
It is not possible to deploy 5G technology now, and it will only come with limited advantages for AVS in the coming five years. According to Davenport, AVs cannot depend on mobile networks like 5G for essential functions but must use various technologies to meet objectives of safety design and performance. However, 5G networks will be critical in handling the massive amounts of data brought by AVs and their users for entertainment, connectivity and handling safety. It is therefore essential for CSPs to act immediately to secure future market opportunities through ensuring that 5G is part of the AV designing process. African IT and CIOs leaders will discuss more 5G and various emerging technologies at the Gartner Symposium/Txpo in September 2018 in Cape Town.