Vice President, Internet of Things, Avnet
There is little doubt the connected car will continue to be among the biggest producers of
data and therefore, among the greatest consumers of
network bandwidth. Looking at the options on the
horizon, I can see a number of different possibilities that could be
beneficial to designers.
Today, allocation of the radio spectrum is largely determined
by bands that are licensed and regulated by the FCC. This model
doesn’t allow for the most efficient or effective use of available
bandwidth. A more practical approach being investigated by
groups like DARPA, is to build flexibility and intelligence into
radio networks. This will allow them to autonomously and
dynamically route network traffic to the best available frequency
at any given moment.
Io T data compression technology offers another possible
solution. This technology enables systems to reduce data
transmission sizes by anywhere from 30 to 90 percent (depending
on the use cases).
With the promise of higher data capacity, reduced latency,
and better reliability, it’s widely believed 5G will be a “game
changer.” In addition to the ability of adding more bells and
whistles to automotive infotainment systems, the near real-time communication capacity of 5G should be the final piece of
the technology puzzle, enabling fully autonomous driving (user
acceptance is another battle altogether).
A common thread among these possibilities is the increasing
dependence on software-defined radio technology—the ability to
dynamically reconfigure the receiver for multiple radio standards,
and to switch between them via software. It’s this flexibility
that will enable the adaptation to fast-emerging communications
standards for autonomous driving, while provisioning for the
coming technological revolution in artificial intelligence, which is
poised to extend into connected cars.
Alexander M Wyglinski, PhD,
Co-chair of the IEEE 5G Community Development
Today’s road vehicles are wirelessly connected with the world around us. GPS navigation, electronic
tolling, tire pressure sensors, AM/FM radio,
Bluetooth entertainment systems, and numerous other wireless
technologies are integral components of most cars, trucks, and
buses. With the rapid emergence of self-driving vehicle technology,
it’s anticipated the information generated and shared by vehicles to
ensure road safety will rapidly expand to the order of terabytes—
or approximately several computer hard disks of information—per
hour. As a result, we need a first/last-mile wireless technology that
is reliable, seamless, low latency, ubiquitous, and supports high
data rate transmissions.
Fifth Generation, or 5G, communication is a wireless
technology that has the potential to support high-speed
communications across hundreds and even thousands of vehicles
over a single stretch of roadway via a combination of cellular
base stations, wireless road-side infrastructure, and millimeter
wave-based vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Additionally,
leveraging both cognitive radio and massive multiple input
multiple output (MIMO) technologies, 5G technology should
be able to connect vehicles with the network cloud along with
other vehicles in a reliable manner, regardless of the road or
By addressing the first- and last-mile issue associated with
vehicle communications via a combination of innovative wireless
networking architectures and using advanced wireless technologies
capable of enhancing network capacity, 5G can provide that much-needed connection between vehicles and rest of the network. This
is particularly important as this need for vehicular connectivity
expands to hundreds of millions of vehicles across the country over
the next several years.
Co-Founder and CEO, zGlue Corp.
In 2016, Americans spent an average of 293 hours driving each year. Keeping drivers and
their passengers safe, alert, happy, and productive
increasingly requires intelligence with connectivity.
Wireless technologies enabling the Internet of Things (Io T)
have unique functionality, performance and safety requirements
that differ depending on the application—automotive being one
of the fastest-growing. All Io T devices are connected through
a wide range of different wireless standards, such as 4G/LTE,
LTE-Advanced, LTE-M, WLAN, GPS, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and
the upcoming 5G standard. In addition, telematics and vehicle-tracking applications are expected to drive the narrowband-Io T
(NB-Io T) market for automotive and transportation.
Trying to ensure these varied devices work and communicate
seamlessly brings new design and production challenges. Smaller,
smarter IoT devices that run faster and consume less power
will be essential to easing network strain. Designers will need a
way to quickly develop, test, and optimize these for automotive
applications—and then be able to scale them as needed for volume
production. These applications will require controllers, sensors,
and radios to be seamlessly integrated in small packages that can
reliably support the necessary communications standards.
While a number of semiconductor and sensor suppliers offer
point solutions, integrating them quickly and seamlessly today
requires long-lead-time silicon-on-chip (SoC) designs, which
take years and cost millions of dollars to develop. This is a viable
approach for critical safety systems, such as anti-skid braking
systems, but not for a variety of infotainment, safety monitoring,
gesture recognition and other smart applications emerging as “Io T
accessories” for a car.
Increasingly, there is a need for products and technologies
that allow seamless, low-power integration of industry-standard
semiconductor chips and sensors into Io T devices at low cost and
with a fast time to market. ECN
Q: With 380 million connected cars projected to be on the road by 2021,
how will designers address the increased network strain?