Global telecoms giants form pact with car makers to develop 5G self driving infrastructure

Billy Bambrough
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The UK's first self driving vehicles were unveiled last year
The UK's first self driving vehicles were unveiled last year (Source: Getty)

Some of the world’s biggest telecom equipment makers have pledged to work with car giants on the infrastructure required to make driverless vehicles a reality.

Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, and Qualcomm will work with German car makers Audi, BMW, and Mercedes owner Daimler to put together the technology.

It’s understood the group of companies are in talks with several network operators to join the association.

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The plan is the latest effort from the traditional car industry to shore up its defences against the likes of tech giants Uber, Google, and Apple who all have their sights set on the global car sector.

The tech companies are working to develop the so-called 5G, the next generation of faster and more reliable mobile telecoms networks.

The car makers think this improved network is required if their concept for driverless and internet-connected cars is going to succeed.

The partnership between the two groups has been named the 5G Automotive Association and will work to promote the Internet of Things trend.

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Mass-market upgrades for mobile networks on to the 5G spectrum are not expected for some years, however Ericsson and Nokia have said the technology could be available for use as early as next year.

“The association will develop, test and promote communications solutions, support standardisation and accelerate commercial availability and global market penetration,” the group said in a statement.

Christoph Grote, vice president of electronics at BMW, said the car maker is expecting 5G to grow quickly.

For the automotive industry it is essential that 5G fulfills the challenges of the era of digitalisation and autonomous driving.

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