5G paves the road ahead for Automotive and industrial IoT - Quectel

November 16, 2023

With its high speed, low latency, and ability to support substantial device density per cell, 5G has emerged as a foundational technology for both automotive and industrial IoT (IIoT) applications. Benefits span from assisted driving to automated robots, depending on the specific business case and performance requirements.

While the 5G market is still in its relatively early stages coverage remains incomplete, and business cases are still being refined; nevertheless, the now familiar cellular technology of 5G is well understood, and is backed by a vibrant ecosystem poised to deliver further innovations.

The making of IIoT applications

The initial phases of 5G deployment have been focused on customer premise equipment (CPE) and both outdoor and indoor units, extending to various industrial equipment and in-car infotainment. Industrial IoT is gaining traction through the use of 5G for private networks, which serve as viable alternatives to WiFi. These campus networks establish connections between machines, robots, vehicles, and tracked assets.

The extensive reach of 5G makes it ideal for large sites, ensuring robust performance and security crucial for supporting mission-critical industrial scenarios. For bustling environments like ports, the high capacity of 5G fosters the creation of secure, interconnected zones where ships, containers, cranes, and trucks can communicate seamlessly - facilitating tracking and customs compliance with frictionless and increasingly automated precision.

Evolution of automotive IoT applications

In the automotive realm, realization of automated driving remains years away. While 5G's performance will be integral to automated driving, the intricacies of regulations, policies, and integrations with legacy vehicles necessitate ongoing refinement and definition. Simultaneously, 5G in-vehicle connectivity currently underpins business cases in infotainment, select forms of EV charging, predictive maintenance programs, driver safety, emergency communications, and the initial stages of assisted driving.

Many of these applications don't demand full 5G performance yet. However, considering the extended lifespan of vehicles, automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are progressively incorporating 5G, or at the very least, the capacity to seamlessly integrate 5G into existing vehicle generations. This strategic move will cultivate a market increasingly rich in 5G-prepared fleets, enabling unprecedented levels of driver assistance. The ability to interface with smart road and smart city systems provides a foundational platform for rich data exchange, heralding the eventual realization of automated and highly assisted driving.

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