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With 5G on the way to autonomous driving

5G, the fifth generation of the global mobile communications standard, promises ultra-fast Internet and associated smart applications right through to autonomous driving. But what makes 5G so special?

The new standard is much more powerful. Thus 5G transmits huge amounts of data without interruptions - as long as the network is tightly meshed. These are precisely the prerequisites for autonomous driving: fast, reliable communication networks and seamless data transmission. The car must be able to receive all safety-relevant information at all times. This is the only way to ensure safety during autonomous driving and avoid accidents. Only then an artificial intelligence (AI) can take over driving itself with the help of networked sensors and communicate reliably with other road users completely. Traffic jams would also be a thing of the past. The necessary technical standards are currently being hotly debated and must be precisely defined.

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In contrast, semi-automated driving is already possible today, for example with the help of a traffic jam or adaptive speed and distance assistant. These types of systems can accelerate, brake and partly steer on their own. Many automobile manufacturers are already testing highly automated or fully automated driving on their own test tracks, on which the driver can turn away from the driving action for a longer period of time, but must be able to drive and intervene at all times. In the future, a test scenario for this could take place in the city, for example, because there the 5G network will most likely have reached a usable level more quickly. However, until it is time for vehicles to move completely driverless on Germany's roads, both the technical and the corresponding legal framework must be created.

It is equally important not to lose sight of society on the way there and to take it with you. Only if it is possible to slowly get used to a new technology, the drivers of tomorrow will not feel overwhelmed.

Safety is our top priority

The highest premise is the safety of the entire system despite all the fun of the technology. Every single component is a possible target for hackers. Protection must be taken into account right from the design and construction of the network. Regular updates close any security vulnerabilities that may occur.

In the long run, 5G and the corresponding AI could also help us to travel multimodally. The car recommends the next train connection to the driver. At the destination, the driver changes to the previously rented car sharing model or continues his journey with an electric scooter that he ordered in his car.