Vehicles will be an indispensable component of the modern era of communications, ensuring omnipresent connectivity and reliable and quick transmissions. Although this idea seems implausible, efforts are currently underway to reach this ambition using the proposed fifth-generation (5G) communication platform (Soldani and Manzalini, 2015). 5G is not only a novel access network but also a user-centric system aiming to meet the practical needs of all stakeholders in the connected world. Today, due to the wide range of access networks and countless applications in the connected digital world, it is not feasible to design an integrated technology obviating various communication needs. Thus, 5G does not intend to change the current communication platform (e.g., LTE), but provides an integrated system that uses all available and anticipated techniques, offering a wide range of customer services. From a business point of view, such a strategy also means that there will be a high rate of return on investment in the existing infrastructure for the coming decades (Shah et al., 2018).
By enhancing its abilities, 5G can exploit current investments in LTE to ensure that 5G is compatible with 4G LTE, and provides optimal performance for the vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications. Consequently, some of the expected features of 5G for vehicle communications are as follows; 4G LTE can integrate WiFi and spectrum. This feature will be improved by combining systems such as 3G, 4G, WiFi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth in 5G. This capability allows vehicles and passengers to be constantly connected to the most appropriate network in order to support the particular safety requirements, non-safety facilities (e.g., TIS), and information entertainment applications (e.g., content sharing). A recent report indicates that the worldwide connected vehicle market was $63.03 billion in 2019, and by 2027, it is estimated to reach $225.16 billion (Singh and Katare, 2020).
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As the number of connected vehicles on the road increases, 5G needs innovative techniques to optimize capacities, such as direct device detection, node coordination systems, and spectroscopy. Direct device detection and non-infrastructure communication are supported by previous technologies like 4G LTE. So, 5G just needs device-to-device connectivity that can cover wider ranges to offer proximity-based services and data access. Traffic demand can be met by the node coordination system. The intercellular coordination process has been already presented in 4G LTE. 5G can use cloud radio access networks for greater coordination between base stations. Furthermore, one of the upcoming plans for 5G is to use the spectrum more efficiently by sharing it among the customers (Shah et al., 2018).
V2V communications can take advantage of the following 5G attributes. First and foremost, 5G offers a maximum bandwidth of almost 20 Gbps and a stable bandwidth of 1 Gbps for download. The stable bandwidth for uplink is approximately 10 Mbps, and the maximum bandwidth is 100 Mbps. Also, 5G comes with very low latency alongside the limited fluctuations, all of which make real-time decisions possible. Today, 4G LTE can cover latency of between 10 and 30 milliseconds for round-trip communications. On the contrary, 5G has the capability of providing latency of less than 1 millisecond, which is suitable for satisfying many real-time communication needs. Besides, 5G can support more devices (about 1 million devices per square kilometer), enabling more users to stream data in real-time, and exchange information directly between pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and wheelchair users.
Ultimately, 5G is able to manage logical network segregation (also called network slicing), which is a useful feature for V2V communications. 5G network slicing allows service providers to create end-to-end networks customized to obviate the particular service needs. Logical network slicing separates network tasks and stores resources (such as bandwidth and buffers in devices) to provide services that are low-latency, reliable, and extremely fast. These services are adjusted to the market requirements based on a single, common network infrastructure (Zeadally et al., 2020).
Currently, 5G is accessible in a relatively small number of places. Therefore, only a limited number of people can register to use these services. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and some smaller companies already offer it to clients in hundreds of cities in the United States, but their main target is densely populated areas. There are also telecommunication companies that have live 5G networks in other parts of the world. As of February 2021, more than 30% of the world's countries have access to 5G. Some evaluations predict that by 2025, 5G connections will reach 3.6 billion globally (Fisher, 2021).
As far as the 5G systems in the car industry, BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) has become the first automaker to cover an extensive 5G wireless network at all its factories. The new wireless regulation allows copious amounts of data to be transmitted within a very short period because data will now be directly processed in high-efficiency computer centers and they no longer need to move long distances (Green Car Congress, 2019). Furthermore, Ericsson is working with Germany's Telefónica to produce a 5G vehicle through a private 5G network for Mercedes-Benz at the Sindelfingen factory in southern Germany (Ericsson, 2019).
Ericsson also provides Audi's manufacturing lab in Germany with 5G networking technology to test how it can be employed in car production (Reichert, 2018).
All business and technology supervisors show that 5G can significantly reform manufacturing and augment productivity over time. Although 5G can offer many benefits, several engineering challenges need to be addressed before a full 5G revolution in the industry. First, this technology must be able to prove its ability to diminish costs, because this is one of the requirements for the implementation of new programs by the industry. Furthermore, one of the fundamental concerns that companies have about the use of a 5G network to provide connection to myriad devices on-site is security; since 5G connected devices will remarkably increase the potential of a network‐threat level. Moreover, there are numerous small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that cannot meet the learning needs or technical skills to take advantage of the 5G system. Finally, many factory devices currently utilize radio communication; therefore, the transmitted signals may interfere, and as a result, the message cannot be exchanged properly (O’Connell et al., 2020).
Future Improvements of 5G towards 6G
Although 5G technology will continue to be developed, 6G is anticipated to be unveiled in 2030. This evolving technology is in response to the increased availability of radio access networks (RAN), and the inclination to use the terahertz spectrum (THz), so that the road capacity can be expanded and the latency can decrease. Many of the recognized issues related to deploying millimeter-wave radio for the 5G system are claimed to be resolved for computer network architects, in order to meet the anticipated issues of implementing 6G technology. It is believed that the 6G connection can support 1 terabyte per second (Tbps). And it’s been proposed that 6G wireless sensing solutions are able to use various frequencies to determine the frequency that leads to the maximum signal penetration and transmission range (O’Connell et al., 2020). This is an unprecedented level of capacity and latency compared to 5G, in conjunction with increasing the range of abilities that can support novel and innovative devices in the fields of wireless cognition, detection, and imaging.
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Fisher, T., 2021. 5G Availability Around the World [WWW Document]. Lifewire. URL https://www.lifewire.com/5g-availability-world-4156244
Green Car Congress, 2019. 5G mobile network goes live at all BMW Brilliance Automotive production sites in China [WWW Document]. URL https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/07/20190722-bba.html
O’Connell, E., Moore, D., Newe, T., 2020. Challenges Associated with Implementing 5G in Manufacturing. Telecom. https://doi.org/10.3390/telecom1010005
Reichert, C., 2018. 5G for car manufacturing: Audi and Ericsson announce partnership [WWW Document]. ZDNet. URL https://www.zdnet.com/article/5g-for-car-manufacturing-audi-and-ericsson-announce-partnership/
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Singh, A., Katare, L., 2020. Connected Car Market by Technology (3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G), Connectivity Solution (Integrated, Embedded, and Tethered), Service (Driver Assistance, Safety, Entertainment, Well-being, Vehicle Management, and Mobility Management), and End-Use (Original Equipme [WWW Document]. URL https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/connected-car-market
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