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For the vehicles of tomorrow and new traffic concepts, high-performance mobile communications will be as indis- pensable as roads. But it will take a while before cars will be able to drive autonomously.

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Does autonomous driving need 5G? Not necessarily – but with fast mobile com- munications it works much better.

Networked, automated driving will come. It's only a question of where and how fast. While young players like Google's sister company Waymo are simply pu- shing ahead with autonomous robot taxis, traditional car manufacturers have to adopt a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, Volkswagen, for example, is also pursuing disruptive concepts with its Sedric. On the other hand, the established brands have tens of millions of vehicles on the road worldwide. They too must evolve. Where the automotive future meets the present, progress must remain secure, affordable, and function everywhere – a challenge.

As far as autonomous driving is concerned, BMW deems 5G indispensable. Bavarian-based BMW is currently introducing remote software upgrades for current models. The improvements and functional enhancements contained therein, as in the case of smartphones, preferably come on board via app and WiFi, i.e., over the air (OTA). The approximately 800 MB program packages update up to 50 ECUs. The update process is highly complex because on a global level, compliance with complex security, emissions and data protection requirements must be ensured for numerous model variants. At the same time, BMW is fur- ther developing the infrastructure and services for autonomous driving. The electric SUV iNext, announced for 2021, may already meet the requirements of au- tonomy levels 3 or 4.

What’s the good of networking in the car? Byton and other manufacturers present their concepts – and soon ready to drive cars.

In addition to established manufacturers, there are also newcomers who are embar- king on the ambitious goals of mobility of the future. Founded by BMW and Nissan managers in 2016, Chinese manufacturer Byton is one of them. The company wants nothing less than to replace the traditional car with an electric, highly automated and fully networked vehicle.

Two models are planned: An SUV called M-Byte, which will go on sale in China at the end of 2019. And later, there will be the K-Byte, a saloon. At the heart of the cars will be a digital cockpit, which, in addition to a tablet in the steering wheel, is determined by a huge, curved 4K display. The car is controlled via touch panels, gestures and by voice, with Amazon's Alexa being included in the process.

Another highlight: Face recognition identifies all occupants as they board and loads corresponding user profiles with personalized content that can be displayed. This in- cludes not only the vehicle settings but also music, videos or other services that users already use outside the car.

Networking is provided by three antennas and modems on the roof, which, thanks to a specially developed gateway with up to 1000 Mbit/s, provide triple 4G throughput.

In the future, even a triple 5G bandwidth is to be achieved, which should enable auto- nomous driving in higher levels. From market launch, the Mbyte masters autonomy level 3 and is later to achieve level 4 via software updates.

What does autonomous driving mean for digital road maps? The demands are increasing – but providers like Here are well equipped

In addition to high-end mobile networks, binding standards and legal requirements, autonomous driving requires high-resolution maps, on which the car can be located with pinpoint accuracy. This is where the Here navigation service comes into play, working to constantly improve the accuracy and push it below one meter. With the help of data from reference stations on the ground, the service provider offsets, for example, distortions of the GPS signal through the earth's atmosphere in order to obtain a pinpoint determination. This service is expected to be available globally by the end of 2019.

What role do smart antennas play for autono- mous driving? ATBB and Desay provide sur- prising answers.

In China, everything is based on electric mobility and big data, reported CL Tan. In the future, the CEO of the electronics group Desay SV will increasingly focus on smart passenger cells, autonomous driving and networked services. The Thuringian antenna technology specialist ATBB – recently a subsidiary of Desay SV – will provide the 5G connectivity with its smart antennas.

How will mobility change in the future? Going from A to B will be a service – many possibilities exist concerning the details.

Sixt presented a comprehensive mobility concept at connect-ec.

The car rental business is already complemented by a car-sharing offer in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. This allows customers to book vehicles only for a few minutes.

If demand is high, Sixt can increase capacity at short notice with vehicles from its car rental fleet. Sixt also challenges so-called ride-hailing providers like Uber: For the short-term provision of transport services, the company works together with the taxi industry. Passengers can also book and pay for this ser- vice via an app.

Flying instead of driving?

With its hybrid flight taxi X-1, the Dresden-based start-up is shaping the air mobility of the future. Visitors were able to find out about the project at the fair and already examine an unscaled model of the X-1. In addition, a prototype will complete the transformation of the vertical starter between the individual flight conditions at regular intervals.

Dr. Ing. Diego Schierle Moreno

Founder & CEO FLÜGELaeronautics GmbH & Co. KG

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