In-vehicle networking is playing a critical role across all industries today, as continuous ‘anytime, anywhere’ connectivity is required for organisations to work at full capacity. With 5G now on the horizon, we take a look at how this next generation of wireless technology will be a key enabler in the evolution of in-vehicle applications.
Cellular networking is currently being leveraged by organisations to power various in-vehicle applications. One key application is WiFi hotspots, which grant mobile workforces the ability to connect their devices and quickly access centralised systems on the go – without the need to travel back to the head office. 5G’s super-fast network speeds, estimated to be as high as 10-20Gbps, will enhance the value of WiFi hotspots, making transmitting and accessing data quicker than ever before. 5G for in-vehicle applications will be of particular benefit to organisations such as the emergency services, where it is imperative that critical data is exchanged in real-time to ensure public safety.
It will provide a host of benefits to other kinds of organisations, too. For example, faster passenger WiFi inside and around public transport vehicles will improve customer experience as everyone can consume any content at the same time without the annoying buffer. In addition to this, 5G will have a positive impact for public transport organisations by delivering quicker connectivity for other extended services that are being adopted on an increasing scale across the industry, including Point of Sale and electronic and mobile ticketing.
Telematics is another in-vehicle application which the arrival of 5G is expected to revolutionise. Fleets are already employing telematics powered by 4G connectivity and coupled with active GPS to transmit and collect valuable data in real-time, including driver behaviour and fuel consumption. By collecting and analysing this data, fleet managers are able to plan routes, manage energy consumption and train drivers more effectively. With the advent of 5G, telematics will evolve and become fully integrated with the connected vehicle of the future. Vast amounts of data will be transferred across entire fleets and more predictive, data-driven management will therefore be enabled, with automatic alerts containing diagnostic information on vehicles and cargo being sent to drivers and fleet managers.
The ability of vehicles to exchange data, send alerts and interact with IoT-enabled ‘smart city’ infrastructure also requires an exceedingly fast, flexible and low-latency connection, and 5G will not only deliver this but will ultimately provide the necessary platform for the development of autonomous vehicles. In addition, 5G for in-vehicle applications will encapsulate low power wide area networking ideal for when speed isn’t the main aim, but keeping power consumption low is. This forms the foundation needed to support mobile IoT growth on a massive scale.
Cellular is already instrumental in enabling organisations to stay connected on the road, with 4G LTE networking playing a crucial part in the development of in-vehicle applications. 5G is expected to extend this transformation even further, both enhancing the effectiveness of current applications and paving the way for future technologies.