BMW, Audi, Daimler join telecom bigwigs in new 5G Automotive Association

5g auto association
5G can support mission-critical communications for safer driving and will further support enhanced C2X communications. (Image Source: Intel)

BMW Group, Daimler and Audi are teaming up with Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, Huawei and Qualcomm in a new organization that will focus on applications like automated driving and integration with smart cities and intelligent transportation.

Dubbed the 5G Automotive Association, the organization will work on next generation 5G mobile networks and the evolution of LTE, including Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communication.

Just last week during the 3GPP RAN meeting in New Orleans, the 3GPP completed the initial Cellular V2X standard for inclusion in Release 14. It focuses on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications, with further enhancements to support additional V2X operational scenarios to follow in Release 14, which is targeted for completion during March 2017.

The U.S. auto industry has been focused on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), which has been years in the making but more recently the topic of controversy as tech companies would like to see Wi-Fi share the band with incumbents and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) crash-avoidance applications.

According to Nokia’s Thierry Klein, vice chairman of the 5G Automotive Association, the association will look at all technologies that are needed to provide end-to-end solutions to effectively address the use cases for connected mobility, connected infotainment, automated driving and intelligent transportation solutions. “As such it is technology-neutral from the beginning, but it is clear that we expect cellular technologies to play an important role and C-V2X will be a focus area,” Klien said in a statement to FierceWirelessTech.

Hybrid and integrated wireless connectivity solutions will be investigated as well. “Having said that, the goal is to provide end-to-end solutions, not just wireless air interface specifications,” he said. It is broader than 5G and the association intends to:

  • make recommendations to existing standards organizations for lower layer functionalities
  • identify gaps in interoperable solutions for the higher layer functionalities and develop specifications as needed to fill these gaps
  • develop and test the integrated end-to-end solutions in trials and pilot deployments

That the wireless industry is working so closely with the auto industry isn’t surprising. At recent trade shows, wireless industry executives have remarked that unlike previous wireless technology migrations, 5G will involve a range of outside industries that will benefit directly from it, such as automotive, healthcare and agriculture, and they are being recognized as the standards for 5G are written.

The 5G Automotive Association says it’s a global association and welcomes more partners who are engaged in the automotive industry, the ICT industry or the broader ecosystem and value chain for vehicle and road transportation systems. Several companies apparently already have expressed strong support for the 5GAA and declared their intent to join the association in the near future, according to the association.

For more:
- see this press release
- see this 3GPP post

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Analyst questions DSRC-based V2V communications for vehicle safety, points to LTE Advanced and 5G instead
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