On the outskirts of Barcelona, a test car pushes through the turns as the sun beats down on the windshield. The driver’s hands feel resistance from the steering wheel while every bump reverberates through the floor. The vehicle however is completely empty. That’s because the driver is 50 km away operating the world’s first 5G remote-controlled car.

At an Ericsson demo station in Hall 2 of Mobile World Congress, a crowd gathers to watch several large 4K screens showing a prototype vehicle driving through a column of cones that mark out the dusty race track. The driver sits in a large leather seat behind a black steering wheel and a set of pedals beneath on the floor. The demonstration, which is a collaboration between Telefonica, Ericsson, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Applus Idiada, highlights how ultra-low latency 5G can be used to remotely control a vehicle in a real-time while haptic communications provide an immersive feedback loop.

In this video, you’ll get a closer look at how these technologies – and especially ultra-low-latency radio communications – are opening up brand new possibilities for the automotive industry and revolutionizing the driving experience as we know it.

Ericsson expects that by 2026 there will be a USD 582 billion market opportunity globally as telecom operators leverage 5G technology for industry digitalization. For operators, this represents a potential to add 34 percent growth in revenues in 2026.

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