Autopilot

Google's self driving car. / Photo by: Michael Shick via Wikimedia Commons

 

Mobile network operator EE announced its first trial of the 5G network in the United Kingdom. The move will enable smartphone users to enjoy very high-speed mobile data connectivity in the coming years. But can it support the growing industry of autonomous vehicles?

EE will begin the 5G trial in the Tech City in London, an area between Old Street and Shoreditch. The network trial will include 10 sites in the area composed of five small businesses and five homes that will be given the chance to connect to the 5G prototype network.

“This live trial is a big step forward in making the benefits of 5G a reality for our customers, and in making sure that the UK is at the front of the pack for 5G technology," said Marc Allera, CEO of Consumer Business at BT Group, owner of EE.

The upcoming implementation of the 5G network in the country would be an immense support for the growing trend of AVs. In November 2017, the government announced that development of the autonomous vehicles is a part of its industrial strategy. So how 5G will be able to sustain the data needs of AVs?

1. The high-speed connectivity of 5G is better than 4G or 4.5G networks, The 5G network offers up to 10 Gbps data transfer rate which is up to 100 times faster than the previous generation.

2. It is capable of handling more devices compared to 4G LTE with up to 100 times the number of connected devices at the same time.

3. About 1-millisecond latency that significantly reduces the delay between data transfer and transfer instruction.

Autonomous vehicles require a stable and solid data connection to retrieve online data of 3D maps. The vehicles also need it to upload data to process decisions and road-related information for optimal performance and passenger safety.