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Cars with WiFi or 5G? BMW and Qualcomm face VW and Renault

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Qualcomm, BMW and Deutsche Telekom are pitted against car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Renault and Volvo for the way cars will communicate with each other and with the outside world.

In the eye of the hurricane are the rules of the road for Europe's future connected and autonomous cars, which will dictate how information is transmitted between vehicles and infrastructure.For example: how to make a vehicle aware of the presence or proximity of another vehicle on the road, or how to transmit traffic light signals to the car, etc.

Today, Wednesday 17/04, the European Parliament will vote on a draft regulation drafted by the European Commission, the bloc's executive body. The draft supports the use of WiFi-based technologies, powered by VW, General Motors and the Volvo group.

In reaction to this process, BMW and other automobile and telecommunications companies have urged European Union legislators to discard the regulations, arguing that the law would force additional investment in a technology that will soon fall into disuse, as it offers a lower return than the future 5G network.

"We are confident that legislation on Wi-Fi technology will lead to significant delays in the introduction of communication systems in Europe, both from car to car and from car to car.from car to infrastructure," said BMW CEO Harald Krueger and Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges in a joint letter to German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer.

bmw autonomous drivingBMW doesn't want to waste time with WiFi technologies. / © NextPit

In a statement released Monday, computer and automotive associations including 5GAA (which in turn includes Qualcomm, Ford and Daimler) are also on the list.The Commission called on the European Parliament and the Member States to reject the regulation, stating that it 'will hamper the increase in safety, and will negatively impact on the competitiveness of our automotive sector and the development of 5G technology in Europe'.

Companies that support the use of Wi-Fi technology (including Volkswagen, Renault, MAN and NXP Semiconductors NV) argue that the industry needs to have a clear idea about which systems can be used as soon as possible, with Wi-Fi technology being the only one available right now.The second largest changer manufacturer, the Volvo group in Sweden, has stated that the draft regulation leaves room for the adoption of 5G technology in the near future.

What happens now? Well, if the European Parliament decides to reject the draft regulation, the process goes backwards so that a new draft is drawn up. If, on the other hand, the draft were approved, the Member States could still take the decision to veto it.

The arrival of autonomous cars seems imminent, but the development of 5G technology is still awaited, and this gap could create more than one problem in both the public and private sectors. In the public sphere, due to the possible legislative chaos that threatens to spread, as in this case. And in the private sphere, due to the uncertainty of companies when it comes to investing in one technology or another, in addition to the lack of intersectoral consensus.

What do you think? Is WiFi in hand better than 5G flying? Welcome comments!

Source: Bloomberg

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  • 49
    storm Apr 17, 2019 Link to comment

    Wrong idea. car makers meed to endorse the phone and plan i already have. Work to integrate that into the car. The path theyre on is a maintenace and long term nightmare as wifi and cell signals change every few years. or at least make it modular, say on a double DIN or something so it can be upgraded readily.