September 20, 2018
5G & Transportation: 5G Take the Wheel .
We all know the anxiety that comes from sitting in traffic or waiting for a bus, watching the minutes tick by and knowing you are going to be so late to work. Commuting is a frustrating part of many peoples’ days.
Thankfully next-generation 5G networks are set to transform every aspect of the transportation experience, from public transit to smart parking to self-driving driving cars, including your morning commute.
Imagine being able to reduce vehicle congestion in communities with infamous bumper-to-bumper traffic like Atlanta, Los Angeles or Houston by up to 40 percent—estimates suggest 5G will do that and more.
5G and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications will make traveling safer. A V2V-enabled car will allow cars to travel in groups or “platoons” on the road. Lead cars will communicate road hazards to following cars and increase braking reaction times, avoiding accidents. In fact, wireless-enabled self-driving cars are predicted to save up to 21,700 lives and $447 billion each year.
And with the arrival of 5G, gone are the days of circling the block for parking spaces. Low-cost 5G sensors on street lamps or in parking lots will identify empty street parking and allow cars to travel directly to an open space, saving consumers time and money.
When self-driving cars, supported by connected smart traffic management systems, hit the road at scale, commutes will be safer, more productive, and more efficient—in fact, wireless-enabled self-driving cars are predicted to reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.
Increased wireless connectivity in cities with public transit systems like New York City or Washington D.C. will reduce rider wait times while also optimizing transit system efficiencies. 5G will give bus and subway operators real-time updates on the numbers of users so they can dynamically match supply and demand. Consumers like you and me will also be able to track the status of our public transit with pin-point accuracy from our mobile devices.
CTIA member companies are working with cities around the U.S. to make these solutions a reality. For example, AT&T recently announced a partnership with the city of Los Angeles to tackle local issues including traffic congestion. And Panasonic and Qualcomm are working in Colorado to introduce wireless-powered Vehicle-to-Everything technologies to make sure cars can speak with road infrastructure.
Initial rollouts of 5G by wireless carriers have already begun and self-driving cars are conducting live road trial phases. It’s just a matter of time until the smart transportation revolution is in full swing, but until then, I wish you best of luck and a safe and timely arrival when it comes to your morning commute.