Though never managing to successfully predict what each forthcoming generation of mobile technology should deliver to satisfy future users, the industry has nonetheless reached some consensus on the use cases for 5G communications. Machine to machine communications is one. 5G should enable the IoT, the future where all online-enabled objects will quietly pass on data to each other or to a central computer.
Facilitating the use of mobile networks by connected and autonomous cars, remotely controlled industrial robots, telehealth systems, and smart city infrastructure are also all expected to figure large in 5G thinking. There is a common notion the industry is hoping that 5G will solve problems we don’t have today, but those that could hold us back years in the future — and one of the best examples to such a statement is a driverless car.
This particular report addresses the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) progress in reaching its ultimate goal — to make a car “intelligent” enough to safely drive without human participation. It also updates the status of driverless car development in connection with the transition to the 5G era: the industry identified driverless cars as the most viable form of ITS, dominating the roadways by 2040 and sparking dramatic changes in vehicular travel. The report discusses the specifics of the 5G era as they are seen by the industry at the present time with an emphasis on what 5G technologies can bring to the driverless car.
Such a car was considered by many as a scientists’ dream only 10–15 years ago; now it is a reality and all predictions are that driverless cars will hit the roads in 6–8 years. The fully developed driverless car needs the support of communications systems evolving in the transition to 5G, and these two developments are interrelated — a driverless car becomes a 5G use case.