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A world without traffic jams!

Imagine a world without traffic jams. Coupling its high reliability, ultra-fast speeds, and the latest in smart car technology, 5G could spell the end of traffic jams as we know them.

As the disruptive technology bringing instant network response times, enhanced connectivity speeds, and increased reliability to improve some of the most essential processes in our societies, 5G has the ability to make roadway commuting quicker, easier, and more efficient than ever before.

Connected cars running on 5G networks will be able to efficiently and instantaneously communicate with each other as well as with the environment, giving drivers notifications and warnings about what’s going on around them. Using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, cameras, and sensors to collect and share important road information with other vehicles (for example, braking data to warn approaching vehicles about unexpected events), they’ll be able to provide real-time updates on everything in their surroundings — from weather and road conditions to potential traffic hazards.

Crucially, 5G networks will enable V2V communication even when cars are outside the line of sight, utilizing 5G sensors to complement their LiDAR and radar capabilities to detect and communicate with other vehicles. Some of these features are actually in use today, running on 3G or 4G technology; however, they’re limited to small-scale applications.

With robust computing power and extensive memory capacity, 5G-connected cars will be able to transmit information and make intelligent decisions faster than humans. Beyond ushering in the next generation of connected capabilities, 5G is also leading the automotive industry in another disruptive use case: driverless vehicles.

From automated public transportation to personal driverless cars, 5G will deliver the bandwidth and responsiveness needed to make self-driving vehicles a reality. Driverless buses on downtown streets will be able to communicate with each other in real-time as well as with self-driving taxis, with motorcycles, and with a range of infrastructure elements (think traffic lights and management systems) — all adding up to a connectivity ecosystem operating seamlessly together.

On motorways, trucks will communicate with each other to maintain set distances and speeds for linked convoys (a process known as “autonomous platooning”), reducing congestion and fuel consumption for greater roadway efficiency. For individuals in their personal autonomous cars, driving will shift from a hands-on task to an effortless riding experience, increasing comfort and enjoyment as well as safety. In fact, we’re more than likely to see the practice of car sharing increase as a result, with more people opting for autonomous-car-as-a-service (CaaS) alternatives to their own cars as the preferred way to commute.

According to the Ericsson ConsumerLab report,’ Augmenting the daily commute’, 1 in 4 respondents said that despite having a 45-minute or longer commute per day, they would be willing to add an additional 20 minutes if they could have an improved commuting experience. Tellingly, those individuals who ranked as the most satisfied during their commutes reported spending more time engaged in digital experiences to pass the time, including using smartphones and other portable devices.

This is yet another dimension in which 5G will improve the traffic experience, offering a wider array of hands-free digital options for drivers and letting autonomous car passengers effortlessly stream their favorite movies and TV shows, play online video games, and more.

Applying 5G to unlock the full potential of connected vehicle technology will bring a more safe, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly driving experience to the world. According to our Ericsson Mobility Report, the automotive sector will be among the top four industries providing 5G-enabled services by 2030. Whether this means that a world without traffic jams is well and truly on our horizon remains to be seen; however, as we’ve explored, there’s reason to believe that even if they do stick around, congested roadways won’t be the tiresome, taxing affairs they are today.

Source: Ericsson.com

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