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5G Networks Will Enhance Telematics and Pave the Way for Autonomous Driving

Over the past century, innovation in the automotive industry has revolved around making cars faster, safer, more comfortable, easier to handle, or smoother to operate. Since the dawn of the Information Age, however, automakers have explored ways to apply computer technology to refine the driving experience and assist safe driving practices. Sensors that notify the driver about operational conditions and features, such as GPS navigation, have become commonplace in the average motorists journey. As stated in Autotrader, starting in May 2018, a new regulation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will require all new cars to be manufactured with backup cameras.

Today, the telematics innovation to watch is the automakers race to develop and market the worlds first driverless car. According the New York Times, General Motors announced at the beginning of January that they have petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate fully autonomous cars in a commercial ride-hailing service by 2019. TechRepublic also covered claims from Tesla that all of its vehicles will be autonomous-capable by 2020. As Business Insider reports, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, BMW, and every other major and minor car company has announced a team or dedicated factories to the development and testing of autonomous driving systems that they hope to bring to market within the next decade.


The Five Levels of Automated Driving

With autonomous vehicle innovations coming along quickly, the NHTSA has adopted specifications to help manufacturers and consumers understand the different types of autonomous driving that are being developed. These specifications, outlined in the Society of Automotive Engineers' SAE International J3016 document, are referred to as The Five Levels of Automated Driving.

Level 0:

No Automation

The full-time performance by a human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.

Level 1:

Driver Assistance

A system that will assist with some basic functions, but still depends on the driver to control speed, steer, and monitor the surrounding environment.

Level 2:

Partial Automation

The automobile has the ability to assist the driver with steering and speed control functions, but still requires the driver to control safety-critical functions and monitor the environment.

Level 3:

Conditional Automation

The automobile uses sensors to monitor its environment and can control all aspects of driving, but still requires the driver to intervene in most conditions.

Level 4:

High Automation

The vehicle is capable of steering, braking, accelerating, monitoring the roadway, and taking actions to navigate without the necessary intervention of the driver, but may rely on the driver in less safe conditions.

Level 5:

Full Automation

The full-time performance by an automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions.

At present, most automobile companies manufacture cars with Level 2 automation capabilities, and Level 3 automation is promised by the majority of automakers within the next few years. Industry experts estimate that Level 5 automation still is years away from being a practical, affordable reality, but that it isnt as far off as some might think.

How 5G Will Affect Autonomous Driving

Wireless and cellular networks are in the process of updating and building the infrastructure to introduce 5G capabilities within the next year. By 2020, 5G will be the universal network speed used by all IoT-enabled devices for sophisticated information transmission and processing. In the realm of telematics, 5G is expected to play a huge role in the development of autonomous vehicles.

With the coming of 5G, telematics companies have spearheaded the development of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications capabilities. With these new technologies, automobiles utilize the 5G network to communicate with other cars on the road, as well as traffic lights and road management systems to deliver a range of data to the driver: the number of cars on the road ahead, the level of traffic congestion, hazards such as construction or accidents, and estimated drive time to a given destination. This sophisticated level of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication will be critical to autonomous vehicle operations.

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In cars with Level 1 or Level 2 automation, IoT functions will take the form of notifying the driver to slow down, issuing alerts from Department of Transportation infrastructure systems. With Level 3 automation and above, the car will be able to decelerate, operate turn signals, change lanes, and take any other action it deems necessary to steer clear of danger. With this technology, costs from accidents are expected to plummet steadily as automated vehicles help to compensate for human error.

Aeris IoT Automotive Solutions

Using current 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE networks, the Aeris IoT Automotive Services delivery platform enables automakers to customize connected vehicle solutions in order to create a better driving and ownership experience. With more than 10 million devices on the network, and a global reach that encompasses 190 countries and more than 550 carriers worldwide, Aeris IoT Automotive Services provides unparalleled, end-to-end solutions from connectivity and telematics applications to evolving transportation-as-a-service features. The Aeris IoT Automotive Services platform enables granular data acquisition for automotive telematics, as well as speed-to-market for new features and functionality.

Contact us today to learn more about Aeris IoT automotive solutions.