Qualcomm is offering a glimpse at how the next generation of wireless service could lay the groundwork for a self-driving future.
Today, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the telecom chipmaker partnered with Ford, Audi and Ducati to outfit a sample route through downtown Las Vegas with 5G network equipment that connects cell-connected cars and motorcycles to real-time traffic information including pedestrian crossings, stoplight changes and speed limits.
While the cars used in the test weren’t autonomous, the demonstration is an example of the type of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication technology experts say will eventually be critical for self-driving vehicles to operate on a mass scale.
That type of high-stakes coordination is only possible when cell service is more or less instantaneous, as it’s expected to eventually be with 5G.
Ahead of the exhibition, Ford announced plans to outfit all of its new models with this cellular vehicle-to-everything communication technology, or C-V2X, by 2022.
The automaker has also previously said all new vehicles will come equipped with basic cell reception by the end of this year.