How 5G Can Make Self-Driving Cars Smarter

With the advancement in internet technology along with it comes the need to figure out how to increase internet speed. Every day we see new products and services that rely on the internet to do their jobs properly. Technology news has been abuzz lately with stories on 5G networks and the immense need for them as fast as possible, as well as a few scandals here and there.

One industry that will be taking huge leaps with tech is the automotive sector, especially when it comes to self-driving cars. These autonomous vehicles rely on a vast number of sensors that need to be able to communicate at lightning speeds. 5G networks are going to be able to deliver speeds that were completely out of reach just a few years ago.

Technology is Already There

When talking about the new breed of self-driving automobiles, the programming for them to communicate has been available for a few years now. C-V2X is a program developed by Qualcomm who has been working on this technology for quite some time. It stands for ‘Vehicle-to-Everything’ instead of the standard ‘Vehicle-to-Vehicle’ communication. There are many promising applications that could completely change the way we drive.

This program, in a basic sense, allows self-driving cars to communicate with each other by sending and receiving data transmissions. The potential for this is quite vast and could include cars knowing the exact timing of traffic lights. Your car could change speeds and routes to synch up with every green light available, and that is just the beginning.

A New Generation of Autonomous Cars

The C-V2X technology is already being used in minor capacities in some of the self-driving cars already out there. The real potential will not be realized until the networks are able to play catchup. Cars will soon be able to do almost everything a human would need to do while driving, it will just take some time.

As cars are going to be able to communicate they will be able to perform functions that would equate to eye-contact and body language with humans. At a stop-sign, both cars will be able to communicate who goes first without any confusion at all. It will happen faster than any human could react, and there will be no place for human error.

Major Manufacturers Are On Board

Regardless of how great the potential of this C-V2X and 5G technology is, it would be useless without car manufacturers using it. There has been a consortium created to back this technology that includes well-over 100 major members. Car industry giants such as Ford and Daimler are members, so that should give consumers some confidence.

Many large corporations from other industries have also joined this group, which is continuing to grow every year. Everyone from equipment manufacturers to carriers and electronics brands is jumping on board this technology. It is going to need this type of support to grow to its full capabilities.

There Are Limitations

The first major limitation to talk about is the fact that 5G networks are not available yet, and the cost of them is astronomical. When these networks become the standard is really a guessing game at this point, as there is still much work to do. You also have some people questioning the rationale behind relying on these networks.

As we have seen since the implementation of communication networks, nothing is going to be perfect. There are always going to be errors and problems that can crop up on any network, and that normally means no connectivity. What would that mean for a whole fleet of self-driving cars? Some companies are not willing to put all their eggs in one technology basket.

Who Would Regulate it All?

If you think the implementation of 5G networks around the world is going to be a large task, what about regulating autonomous cars? It takes a long time for governments to come up with new rules and legislation, and this type of technology is going to make it even harder.

There is no way to tell how all of this will be regulated as of yet, but it will have to happen eventually. Regulation is going to vary greatly depending on the country, and this is going to make it more difficult for manufacturers. A lot of work still has to be done to see if it will be feasible for everyone.

Drive Yourself For Now

Being able to sit back and relax in your car without worrying about the road is something that we would all appreciate. While technology is starting to make these types of things possible, the networks needed just aren’t available yet. So for now, you can dream about everyone using self-driving cars, you will most likely be driving yourself for the time being.