What does 5G mean for automotive connectivity?

Jon Lawson

The advent of 5G network technology, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity featuring multitudes faster speeds, more reliable connections, near zero latency and the ability to process and manage huge amounts of data, will create a smarter and more connected world and provide entrepreneurial companies with radically-new business opportunities, according to experts featured at an Academic Conference convened by Karma Automotive. 

“We chose to curate an exploration of 5G technology because we think it will have a major influence on our industry,” said Dr Lance Zhou, CEO of Karma Automotive, the Southern California-based creator of EVs. “5G should help make cars faster, smarter and safer – especially when it comes to autonomous technology.”

A wide-range of technology companies, academic institutions, business organisations, analysts, and local governments came to Karma’s Conference Centre at its Global Headquarters in Irvine to explore the implications of 5G.

Engaging keynotes and interactive panel discussions featured technologists and wireless experts from a wide range of industries including Mischa Dohler, professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London; John Rossant, an expert smart city urban planner and founder of NewCities Foundation; Paul McLachlan, Head of Data Science at Ericsson’s Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator; Sujit Dey, a Professor and Director of the Centre for Wireless Communications at the University of California and Shailesh Patil, Principal Engineer/Manager at Qualcomm.

Those who attended saw the real potential 5G technology has to transform vehicles into self-guided rolling living rooms or offices and provide new business opportunities to direct individualised and immersive content to passengers no longer burdened with the responsibility of keeping their eyes on the road and safely guiding their vehicles.

5G should also help alleviate the anxiety many consumers currently express concerning the ultimate safety of autonomous technology. Incredibly faster network speeds, cloud capacity and even edge computing, defined as data processing done at a mobile carrier’s cell tower, will exponentially increase processing time and enable future vehicles to think and make accurate decisions in milliseconds, and therefore avoid accidents, minimise if not eliminate traffic congestion, vastly reducing travel time and significantly reduce energy consumption.

Karma’s Academic Conferences will continue to convene thought leaders, curate discussions to help drive change, build relationships with influential business, academic, civic and industry stakeholders, and help create partnerships to speed product and technology development, said Karma’s Yitah Lee, Director of Business Development.

“For a high-tech incubator like Karma, this kind of discussion and networking will play a key role in identifying new business opportunities beyond traditional retail sales,” he explained. “We have many goals, but our bottom line is establishing Karma as an important business partner and resource for innovators who want to use our niche luxury EV platform as a test bed to prove their emerging technologies.”

The company’s next Academic Conference, The Jungle Effect: How to Survive in a Hyper-Competitive EV Start-Up World, is slated for September 26th and will explore emerging trends and innovation in electrified powertrain testing and validation.

Read about Volvo’s 5G test ground for mining vehicles here


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