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VW Plans 5G Connected Car

Volkswagen is pushing ahead with its I.D. project.Volkswagen is pushing ahead with its I.D. project.

Volkswagen plans to equip its family of I.D. electric cars with next-generation 5G mobile connectivity and cellular vehicle-to-everything communication standards as the brand prepares to offer full autonomous driving functionality in 2025.

The first of its purpose-built EVs, a compact-sized hatchback based on the I.D. concept unveiled at the Paris auto show in October, will launch in 2020, with an SUV following closely after and in 2022 a microbus MPV, according to Automotive News Europe.

Since VW first began embedding connectivity features four years ago, about 2.1 million Volkswagen vehicles already offer online services designed to improve safety and comfort. 

This is expected to grow with the advent of ultrafast download speeds. As cars begin to take over more and more driving tasks from humans, they will need to continuously process data provided from the surrounding environment.

 The 5G Revolution

VW’s partner in the project is well-known chipmaker Qualcomm, which debuted a new flagship processing chip called the Snapdragon 835 that will be rolled out in the first half of 2017. 

The US technology supplier already plans to launch trial deployments of 5G mobile communication standards starting this year together with companies like AT&T and Ericsson.

For the moment ultrafast data transfer speeds needed for the Internet of Things (IoT) are hindered by a lack of available bandwidth, in other words the spectrum measured in hundreds or thousands of megahertz at which carrier waves convey information.

Since most mobile telecommunications piggyback on the same narrow set of frequencies allocated by governments, this will only become a bigger issue in the future when the IoT connects billions of intelligent devices found in cars, homes and offices.

Collecting data and detecting hazards beyond the line of sight pose an additional challenge. By picking cellular V2X as its standard, Volkswagen decided against the competing DSRC, a short-range wireless technology that requires the deployment of its own dedicated infrastructure along roadways as opposed to utilizing existing cellular networks. 

Chipmaker Qualcomm also paired with Volkswagen’s sister brand Audi to pilot cellular V2X in Germany starting this year.

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