Autonomous driving needs more than a system of roadways; it needs a network-based architecture that leverages the pairing of 5G and cars to meet key connectivity requirements.
A 5G vehicle needs reliable networking that supports real-time communications and a whole host of sensors that function across different domains, as well as a high degree of redundancy. When 5G connects the car to surrounding systems, all the domains can have a high-speed data backbone as a foundation. These smarter cars are destined to be highly sophisticated, further expanding on the existing advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) with more improved, high-resolution sensors as well as human-machine interfaces.
The surrounding infrastructure is expected to include more sensors that generate and share data through a 5G network to enable an autonomous driving ecosystem. The car itself will be a computer, full of sensors, memory, storage and compute power that can handle multiple data streams at once. Some streams are essential for enabling autonomous driving, but others gather information to make traffic management systems and cities smarter, and provide rich infotainment for passengers.
All these data transfers will need to be secured. Inside the vehicle, wires will support in-vehicle networks using automotive Ethernet standards that include encryption. In the meantime, there will be an accelerated need for automotive-grade components, including miniaturized connectivity, as the number of sensors and internal communications links rises dramatically.
Internal connectivity must be supported by robust external connectivity, which will be enabled by cellular vehicle-to-everything (V2X). This will enable 5G car technology to interact with its immediate surroundings as it interprets data gathered from its environment using both sensor technology and cellular communication.