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OEMs to ramp up connected car features as next-generation 5G transforms road networks

Connected vehicles in cityscape graphic

Car manufacturers are expected to ramp up how their cars connect to next-generation 5G infrastructure features as the market reaches 41 million vehicles by 2030, according to estimates from ABI Research.

The tech advisory firm is estimating the number of 5G connected cars will ramp up rapidly and more than double to 83 million globally by 2035 and that 5G connected cars will make up more than 75% of the total C-V2X (cellular-to-vehicle-to-everything) equipped cars.

Leo Gergs, research analyst for 5G markets at ABI Research, said: “These numbers underline the huge momentum for cellular connectivity, and particularly 5G, in the automotive sector.

“As a consequence, we will see a rising number of automotive OEMs start developing C-V2X modules for their cars during 2020. We can then expect the first 5G connected cars on the roads in 2022.”

While Ford has already announced new car models equipped with C-V2X for 2021, other OEMs like Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen have all partnered up with the likes of Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia to commence large-scale trial projects to test the capabilities of cellular technology for connected car use cases.

Gergs said: “Results from proof-of-concept projects with enhanced traffic efficiency as a result of 5G connected features can help reduce fuel consumption by up to a third.

"Sensor data from vehicles will help to make overtaking safer and will also be critical to protecting pedestrians and cyclists.

“Bringing 5G-based cellular connectivity into cars will be critical in making the vision of zero road traffic deaths a reality.”

In total, ABI Research has quantified the contribution of 5G to global GDP to reach US$17 trillion (£14.11tr) by 2035.

ABI Research said a large part of that global GDP will be through increasing the safety of road traffic, which will reduce health care expenditure drastically and take pressure off doctors and hospitals.

Gergs said: “To unlock all these benefits, public authorities and transportation infrastructure owners need to realize their responsibility to fund the installation of cellular networks and enable the widespread deployment of C-V2X to make road traffic safer and greener.

“Both infrastructure vendors and network operators need to wake up and work closely with automotive manufacturers to make 5G a success for connected cars.”

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