Tech

BMW Tested Its World's First 5G-Connected Cars In South Korea

By Jiran , Nov 17, 2016 04:03 AM EST

The German automaker BMW seems more low-key than Tesla, Google and Ford with regards to building fully autonomous cars. In fact, it's the Korean-based wireless telecommunications operator SK Telecom that announced the exciting news on its website. BMW and SK Telecom, with the help of Swedish company Ericsson, have tested the world's first 5G-connected cars in South Korea.

The Demo Of Two BMW Cars Running On 5G Network

BMW's T5 cars were the highlight of a special demo held in South Korea. It was done in part to test a certain wave-length being considered for the future of 5G networks, according to the Android Headlines. It could also be instrumental in achieving fully autonomous cars.

According to iEEE Spectrum, a purpose-built 5G network covered 240,000 square meters of BMW's Driving Center in Yeongjong Island, Incheon. It was installed with the help of Swedish company Ericsson. 5G networks naturally have lower latency than 4G. The two cars were able to communicate with each other with less than a millisecond of latency. This is at a peak transmission rate of 20 gigabits per second.

Furthermore, there were 360-degree on-board cameras installed. These cameras were able to take ultra HD video and upload it through the 5G station of each car. The people working with this test would have been streaming the footage taken.

The Relevance Of This Test To The Future Of Autonomous Cars

5G network can actually improve machine to machine learning. It means that internet connected devices will have a better communication with each other. This network system is not really about faster internet connection speed. Instead, it aims to provide a higher capacity, lower cost and lower battery consumption. It's definitely an improvement to the 4G network.

The fact that SK Telecom is testing it on BMW's cars shows its relevance to the future of autonomous cars. SK Telecom described it perfectly that this test of 5G-connected cars marks the first steps towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming 5G era.

This means that drivers can just let the cars do their thing. The cars will exchange data and coordinate with each other. All of these functions done in a lot faster speed. If it's done right, the cars will be able to avoid crashing into each other without any human intervention.

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