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January 26, 2018

5G Will Power Our Self-Driving Future .

5G Will Power Our Self-Driving Future

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Jackie McCarthy

Connectivity, mobility and security have been the buzz themes for auto industry executives of late.

As the Washington Auto Show wraps up this week, I’ve seen and heard how CTIA member companies like General Motors and other major car makers like Ford are innovating and discussing how 5G will impact transportation infrastructure.

We know the impact will be powerful.

Automakers and wireless companies are expanding the capabilities of 5G beyond our cars to our cities and neighborhoods. 5G will act as a ubiquitous wireless communication technology for smart cities by connecting traffic lights, light posts, buildings, vehicles and more.

Partnerships with the wireless industry are already redefining the auto sector as businesses race to develop and bring to market the first road-ready autonomous vehicle.

There was a flurry of announcements from CES and the Detroit Auto Show, among others, of wireless companies working with automakers to make self-driving cars safer, more efficient and compatible with smart city infrastructure.

Ford and Qualcomm announced an initiative to accelerate the development of self-driving cars by installing a chip that will make them 5G compatible. The chip and 5G will enable the vehicle to communicate with other vehicles and smart city infrastructure around it, making the car safer and more connected.

And the future of self-driving cars is speeding closer. CTIA member GM announced it will test the first self-driving car on U.S. roadways next year. The car will have no brake pedals or steering wheel. 5G will play an important role in the connectivity between cars like these and infrastructure like traffic signals, garages and electric charging stations.

The Washington Auto Show emphasized that cybersecurity remains a top priority for both the wireless and auto sectors. Both industries are working tirelessly to ensure the privacy and security of both consumers and vehicles alike.

On the policy front, the Senate is undertaking a bill that will outline a regulatory framework for self-driving cars. The Senate Commerce Committee held a field hearing at the Washington Auto Show to demonstrate lawmakers commitment to the issue.

It’s clear that the wireless and auto industries innovative synergy and potential is robust. Net-generation 5G networks and self-driving vehicle technologies are just around the corner.

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