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5G, IoT, and future car technology – what the vehicle of the future looks like

What does the vehicle of the future look like? More importantly, how does it work? How does it make our world more efficient, safer and ecologically sound? These are the questions I’m thinking about in preparation for my presentation at FT Future of the Car Summit in London.

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Claes Herlitz 

Vice President and Head of Global Automotive Services

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FT Future of the Car Summit in London link.

According to the event’s homepage, there is “swirling uncertainty around what lies ahead” for the automotive industry. But uncertainty doesn’t have to be scary, it is actually pretty exciting. I see the potential in that uncertainty, a potential that my colleagues and I work each day to capture as we help build the car of the future.


See the IoT in future car technology

Before we examine the potential of the future, let’s look at where we are today. Most of us don’t yet have much contact with the Internet of Things (IoT), as it is still cloistered away in closed, controlled industrial spaces.

When it comes to our everyday lives, most people use IoT today in the form of wearables or home voice assistants. While those are important and engaging platforms, in connected vehicles, we can see how IoT is really transforming the way we go about our daily lives.

That transformation begins with today’s advanced in car technology such as telematics and infotainment services. Soon, automotive IoT evolves to over-the-air (OTA) updates, self-drive and vehicles interacting with the world around them.

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Reaching the 5G mile marker

Right now, the car of the future is just on a practice lap, 5G will give us the green flag to speed up innovation. The millisecond latency of 5G will enable workloads to be shifted, balancing what work gets done in the car, and what gets done in the cloud. This makes access to data faster and allows us to transform onboard architecture of vehicles.

By utilizing edge computing, beamforming and network slicing, cellular network operators will be able to support roads full of self-driving vehicles. But the car of the future does not end its race once we round the turn to 5G. Once we figure out how the car of the future works, then we must decide how we want to use it.


This is what it looks like when 5G gets the green flag

Swarm mobility – connected fleets and car-sharing

So what are we riding in? Is the car of the future just a sleek, self-driving update of my current car, or is it something completely different? People used to think of cars as “horseless carriages”. The way we think of cars today may be similarly short-sighted.

As the way people travel continues to evolve, automakers are rethinking their products and relationships to customers. I am particularly interested in what this means for public transportation, car-sharing and the transport industry.

Perhaps soon, our transportation systems will work more like the IoT swarm robotics that work inside smart factories and distribution centers today. In this model, when a task is assigned, the closest available robot takes the job, or teams up with others to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

If we apply this thinking to vehicles, a “swarm mobility” model could lead to easier travel options and better use of resources. That would mean more uptime per vehicle and less vehicles on the road, but more ways to connect with passengers.

With our Automotive IOT platform and future car technologies like our digital car key or our portfolio for connected fleets, my colleagues and I at Ericsson are continually developing new ways to capture the potential of the connected car. While there is uncertainty on the road ahead, I see great potential for the car of the future.

If you are attending the FT Future of the Car Summit in London and want to hear more about future car technology, be sure to stop by my talk on 5G, IoT and the Vehicle of the Future at 10:10am Wednesday, May 16.

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