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Continental partnering with NTT DOCOMO to advance 5G technology for connected cars

Continental has started a joint research and development collaboration to realize 5G vehicle communications with the Japanese telecommunications company NTT DOCOMO, Inc. to enhance connected infotainment functions and build the foundation for cellular based vehicle-to-everything (V2X) wireless communications systems.

The two companies demonstrated a prototype application of the emerging 5G mobile communications technology at the recent concurrent Automotive Engineering Exposition 2017 in Yokohama and the Wireless Japan Expo. The oncoming high-performance wireless communication technology is currently being specified and is in its early stages. It is designed to enable a step-change in the speed of wireless data transmission, transmission quality and speed of response (latency time).

A key potential of 5G cellular lies in its low latency times. This speed of response can be used for V2X communication. Once latency times are significantly reduced, wireless communication between cars, with the infrastructure and with other road users can improve the data basis for driver assistance and automated driving.

Greater driving safety is not only based upon sensor networks in the car and networked sensor signal interpretation but also on additional information from outside the car. Improving the efficiency of driving will increasingly require predictive driving strategies which factor in data from a backend via the cloud and from other vehicles.

Automated driving as an important step towards accident-free driving (vision zero) is hardly conceivable without the electronic horizon (eHorizon) which integrates digital map data with sensor data for up-to-date maps and real-time traffic information.

The latest available data is the fuel of connected vehicles. As vehicles gain an equal footing in the Internet of Everything, data traffic will expand dramatically. Current cellular standards are not prepared for this. 5G, however, is.

—Robert Gee, Head of Product Management, Software & Connected Solutions and Telematics Systems Engineering Manager, Japan at Continental

The 5G technology targets to provide up to a million connections per square kilometer, allowing for many more devices than 4G.

With a targeted 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) for downlink speeds and drastically reduced latency times which may be as low as 1 millisecond (1 msec) in a wireless link, 5G also enables new use cases and services. Among these are high density platooning, HD (high definition) live map updates, and sensor sharing.

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