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5G connected cars are coming, thanks to Ericsson and PSA Group

Don't expect them to arrive within this decade, though.

The last thing a connected-car network needs is iffy infrastructure.

Ericsson, with the help of service provider Orange and automaker PSA Group, is determined to bring 5G connectivity to connected cars in the near future.

The three companies have signed a partnership agreement that hopes to bring the perceived benefits of 5G internet connectivity to connected cars. The primary focus is on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) platforms, but ancillary connected services and smarter transportation systems are also in the cards.

Each team brings something different to the table. Ericsson will provide the radio communication link, Orange will utilize its cellular network and PSA Group (which includes Citroën and Peugeot) will be in charge of user experience and all things automotive.

I stand firm by my assertion that it's impossible to find a good picture for a connected-car story.


"Vehicle manufacturers expect us to provide the connectivity they need for remote maintenance management, for example, or to keep on-board systems software permanently up-to-date," said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, vice president of innovation at Orange, in a statement. "By teaming with Ericsson and PSA Group, we are combining our capabilities to drive 5G development for innovative services with the perspective of the availability of 5G by 2020."

Research will start with an architecture based on LTE connectivity, but as testing moves beyond 2017, it'll switch over to newer, faster networks.

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5G will do more than improve your phone's Netflix streaming experience. It has the potential to change all manner of communications. Naturally, several companies are jumping at the chance to incorporate it into the next generation of connected cars.

Lightning-fast connections between cars will be able to send messages about upcoming road hazards or bad weather conditions. Cars can receive security or map updates even faster. And let's not forget about self-driving cars, which more or less need to be networked, largely for the reasons mentioned above.

5G is making a strong appearance at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, as well. Ericsson's announcement isn't part of the trade show, but Intel is on the ground in Las Vegas, and it announced plans to send prototype 5G chips to its auto-industry buddies in the second half of this year.

Audi, BMW and Daimler have also teamed up separately to form the 5G Automotive Association, with the aim of accelerating 5G deployment in vehicles for much the same reasoning. Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm are all involved in that partnership, as well.