They showcased the technological capability of the upcoming 5G standard by remotely navigating a car through an obstacle course using 5G wireless networks.
With autonomous vehicles set to be the norm in the near future, during an industry conference in Barcelona, two major telecom companies have disclosed that wireless technologies have to be in place in order for that to happen.
As a demonstration of their capability, Telefonica, a network operator from Spain has joined hands with Swedish network equipment manufacturer Ericsson showcase how a remote controlled car can successfully navigate its way around obstacles on a test track using a wireless networks.
The test relied heavily on the latest mobile networks which are controlled in the cloud and have remarkably quick response times. Naturally they depend on high data rates to make their split second decisions.
Telefonica and Ericsson worked on conjunction with KTH, Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, and Idiada, a vehicle safety testing company, to showcase this technical demonstration.
Although the technology holds great promise, Javier Lorca, Telefonica’s head of innovation in wireless access networks made it amply clear that this demonstration was possible only because of state-of-the-art wireless networks thanks to which they could remotely control the vehicle. Although this opens up a range of possibilities, in the near term their application is likely to be limited to predictable, closed-circuit routes wherein it is practically difficult for a driver to be seated behind the wheel.
This demonstration was intended to highlight the potency of the 5G wireless networks, which are only being launched in countries around the world.
However Lorca clarified that the current, 4.5G wireless networks could handle most of these demands.
During the course of the last five years, Telefonica has sunk in 38 billion euros so as to reach millions of home with its high-speed fiber fixed-line broadband network which it considers to be crucial for the upcoming 5G standard.