Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for 5G cars

23 Feb 2016

5G technology is on the way. And when it gets here, don’t you want your car to be juiced up? LG and Intel do too.

Earlier this month, a new report into the effect 5G will have on the IT industry argued that it will only be a technological revolution if it is given the support it needs to survive.

If we’re to go by the news coming out of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, where Intel has announced a partnership with LG to build 5G technology for cars of the future, that support will come from private industry.

The next generation of wireless technology platforms will likely be the bridge between a dozen autonomous cars on the roads today, and thousands in the near future. Not just that, but non-autonomous cars, or cars as they are known, will soon take on a whole lot more technology, with their own operating systems becoming far more prominent.

Telematics based on 4G LTE just don’t have the capabilities to last us through this shift, it would seem, with 5G delivering 33pc faster speeds, uploading capabilities far beyond what we experience now and far easier video content processing.

Smarter, more powerful

“Billions of increasingly smart and connected devices, data-rich personalised services, and cloud applications are driving the need for smarter and more powerful networks,” said Intel’s Aicha Evans.

“The transition to 5G brings communications and computing together and is a fundamental shift for the industry. It is essential to lay the foundation for future 5G networks now to make amazing experiences of the future possible.”

The automotive industry is in flux at the moment, and that has not been lost on MWC speakers. For example, Fiat Chrysler has demoed how Project Tango-powered augmented reality (AR) software built by Accenture will help you buy a car in the near future.

Whereas currently our only methods of seeing how a car will look in our garage is to view pictures online or to look at the car in person, AR technology will soon become the third, and most likely, option for future car buyers.

All about 5G

But, beyond cars, 5G is the theme of MWC it seems, with Facebook saying it wants the next generation of technology to spread internet access farther and wider than today’s environment allows.

A couple of weeks ago, Research company 451 has claimed the uptake and evolution of 5G will be driven from Asia, which has the biggest appetite for the next generation of internet.

That is why the Seoul Winter Olympics (and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo) will be worth watching for high-profile demonstrations of capability.

Claiming 5G’s key attraction will go beyond speed – with energy efficiency to the fore – a wave of innovation “to make information and computing power instantaneously available” is in the offing.

Causing a “catalytic effect” on the whole IT industry, those behind the study go so far as insisting companies should already be prepping for a 5G future.

Drag race image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic