Friday, March 3, 2017

What Do ‘Superheroes,’ Driverless Cars and 5G Have in Common?

When 5G arrives, we will all get the chance to experience something akin to the superpowers we chatted about when my boys were little. It will bring to our autonomous driving world superpower-like connectivity, giving cars a near-instant advantage of time and information – kind of like a “sixth sense.” It will allow lightning-fast communication between cars and networks and the “things” around them, which makes it possible to detect what’s coming around that next corner, or miles up the road. It will have “pipes” big enough to handle the massive amount of data that autonomous vehicles will use on a daily basis.

As the leader of Intel’s Automated Driving Solutions Division, I’m often asked two questions about 5G for autonomous driving: Why are you talking about 5G now when it’s so far off? And, more skeptically, what’s wrong with the communication technologies we’re deploying today, such as DSRC and 4G LTE? I’ll start with that second question because I think the answer is important to understanding how the autonomous experience is enabled. Plus the answer to that second question also helps answer the first.