The debate about which technological standard should lead connected cars is heated: 5G or WiFi?

Already at the end of 2018 the European Commission determined that no digitization of our society will be possible without high-speed, secure and intelligent connectivity, but decided to opt for WiFi as the new standard for communication between connected cars before the expected 5G technology.

A position that I expected to find reticence, both the PSOE and the PP believe that the 5G standard should be part of the future of connected vehicles , aligning with manufacturers such as Ford, BMW, PSA or SEAT and powerful companies such as Telefónica.

autonomous vehicle

According to Europa Press, both parties have positioned themselves in favor of 5G during a debate organized by Adigital about the challenges of the digital economy.

Polo has justified his position arguing that 5G is safer than Wi-Fi.

For his part, PP deputy Guillermo Mariscal has appealed to an agreement between the private sector and the public sector, but has asked not to renounce the 5G due to the fact that the Commission does not agree.

The truth is that one of the advantages offered by 5G technology compared to 4G is its greater bandwidth and its low latency; that is, the time it takes the network to respond to an order , and that can be very positive for the connected car, because it will substantially reduce the reaction time.

Imagine that a connected and autonomous vehicle is late for a signal, its range of vision is reduced or ‘it is without coverage’. In fact, Europe is developing a 5G digital corridor so that this does not happen.

The investment of companies in 5G, one of the main arguments to defend it

In the battle in Brussels about what the standard of connectivity technology should be, how the connected car will connect will be at stake – redundancy is important – and above all if Europe can cope with China’s hegemony in this field . In this aspect, Europe is literally putting its batteries to start producing batteries for electric cars and to stop being dependent on China and the United States.

“We have already lost the battery train and we can not lose the 5G,” says the head of Finance and IT of Porsche, Frank Mesche.

While the transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc, pushed a few weeks ago a non-binding standard imposed by the C-ITS technology based on the WiFi network, the vice president of the Commission, Andrus Ansip, was positioned in favor of the 5G and C system -V2X.

The European industry argues that WiFi is a technology that was developed a decade ago and poorer in terms of security, range and latency if we compare it with 5G, while German concessionaires, aligned with the Commission, consider that WiFi allows good interaction between infrastructure and vehicles.

The question is, what could make the PSOE and the PP agree on something? As we have said before, basically the role of Europe in technology and the car connected to competitors as powerful as Asia, and especially the investment that is taking place in the 5G industry.

As a most recent example, we find the alliance between SEAT and Telefónica to develop its connected car, which has circulated around Barcelona to collect data and work on the safety development plan during its driving. In addition, more and more manufacturers are betting on connected factories, such as BMW, PSA, Ford, Audi, Nissan, Renault while the connected car is imposed as a trend. Choosing WiFi will be a blow to the industry.