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Into the Future at High Speed

In the auto industry 5G is regarded as an “important prerequisite for the mobility of the future.” Many innovations depend on its high-speed wireless connections – such as autonomous driving and connected vehicles.

The digital transformation is already advancing at full speed, and experts see it receiving another powerful boost from 5G, the fifth generation in mobile communication standards. There is much talk of a game changer in an increasingly connected world, because in many cases super-fast 5G either accelerates connectivity or makes it possible in the first place. That applies to pretty much every area of industry, and particularly to the automotive sector.

This is the result of a survey by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network

among experts in mobile communication and IT. The survey found that over two thirds (70%) of them believe that as “one of the most seminal technology transformations of a still young digital age … 5G will open the door to massive innovation and disruptive changes” in the auto industry in particular.


“Important prerequisite for the mobility of the future”

5G is an “important prerequisite for the mobility of the future,” says Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

This is because the new high-speed wireless standard is what makes many visions of the future in the vehicle business possible in the first place. They are founded on the properties of 5G – by comparison with predecessor technologies:

  • 5G’s data transmission speeds are around 100 times those offered by the current LTE standard;
  • 5G has minimal latency (reaction time), which reduces delays in data transmission to a minimum;
  • 5G uses greater bandwidth, which allows more information to be transmitted.

As a result, information can be exchanged in real time. 5G can handle the data from up to one million devices per square kilometer. Transmission is regarded as stable, trouble-free and therefore extremely reliable.


Self-driving cars and 5G

These are all crucial prerequisites for realizing things like self-driving cars, whose secure deployment will require the processing of huge quantities of data. A permanent connection with the network is required for autonomous driving. Yet it will be some time before we see a larger number of driverless cars on the roads in Germany – not until about 2040, according to a recent study by the Prognos research institute for the German automobile club ADAC. Connected vehicles that communicate with their environment will arrive on a large scale a whole lot earlier. They will communicate with other vehicles, the infrastructure and pedestrians.


Boom in connected vehicles

In this field of innovation, especially high growth potential is expected during the next few years. “Connectivity will increase markedly in the vehicles – much more so than was being forecast two years ago,” according to a recent study conducted for the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw).The forecast predicts that by 2030 only one percent of all vehicles will not be connected – whereas today the figure is 18.6 percent. Connected vehicles need the stable and fast 5G network.

In Germany, the first 5G networks went into operation in the summer of 2019. However, 5G does not yet have universal coverage, its availability being mostly limited to major metropolitan areas like Munich.


Messe München’s advanced 5G network

Numerous new locations with 5G have been set up on the exhibition grounds and in parts of Munich for the IAA Mobility 2021. A cooperative project by Messe München and the mobile communication providers Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland / O2 has put one of the most advanced public 5G networks into operation.

“Expanding the network on Munich’s trade show grounds during and after the IAA MOBILITY enables our exhibitors to offer customers the on-site experience of 5G-based services, such as connected and automated driving, Augmented Reality and robotics,” says Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München GmbH.


Qualcomm: specialized in 5G chips

Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano Amon is regarded as a leading expert in 5G. The Californian semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm produces Wi-Fi chips and is specialized in chips for 5G, in whose development the company was heavily involved. According to Cristiano Amon, the US company sees itself as a “leading technology partner” for the car industry, for instance in relation to Qualcomm’s solutions for the digital cockpit – and also the digital chassis that is becoming “one of the most important assets to automakers,” as Cristiano Amon recently told bankers in the US. “As the demand for automotive solutions increases,” 5G will play a key role.


Events with Qualcomm CEO Amon at the IAA

The events with Qualcomm’s CEO at the IAA Mobility 2021 are therefore are eagerly anticipated. In his lecture entitled “Accelerating the digital Future of Automotive” (September 8, 13:00 h) Cristiano Amon will highlight the opportunities that 5G offers the vehicle sector, the potential in the digital chassis, and how these technologies can contribute to meeting the transport needs of the coming decade. At the Top-Level Session with Qualcomm (September 8, 15:00 h, online, Virtual Summit Main Stage) Cristiano Amon will speak about 5G’s influence on the future of mobility.