You’ve heard of a “smart house.” Now imagine a “smart city” in which everything communicates with each other. In this world, self-driving cars connect to traffic lights and to the roads they drive on so that they’re aware of all the traffic around them.
Why aren’t we there yet? Well, this requires a huge increase in connectivity. How do we get there? The answer is 5G technology, which makes billions of new connections not just possible, but also instant, seamless and secure. The result? Better cost and power efficiency, and a much more convenient commute to work.
What is 5G? 5G is the next progression up from today’s 4G wireless networks that will enable faster, stronger connections between virtually anything. That means cars will be able to drive themselves thanks to their connectivity with traffic lights, other cars and a “smart city” as a whole. 5G technology is projected to revolutionize your daily commute in six major ways.
1. Lightning-Fast Downloads
5G is exponentially faster than 4G, pushing wireless connection speeds from 100 MB per second up to 10 GB per second. 5G will also provide a 100-fold boost in network efficiency and traffic capacity. So if you enjoy listening to YouTube Music or any other online streaming service, you’ll now be able to do so during your commute. When your smartphone is equipped with a 5G-enabled chip, you won’t experience lags. Downloads will happen almost instantly, at a rate as fast as 1 GB per second. 5G also has ultra low-latency, which means its connection is more reliable and won’t get disconnected by buildings, tunnels and other obstacles to current networks.
2. Your Car Will Drive Itself
You won’t be limited to what you can listen to when it comes to streaming infotainment during your commute. You’ll also be able to watch whatever you want to stream, because your eyes won’t need to be on the road. One of the most highly-anticipated uses of 5G is self-driving cars, which are currently being tested by Google, Samsung and other tech giants. In addition to self-driving cars, public transit systems will also become fully automated.
3. Traffic Lights Will Help Reduce Traffic
5G technology will also allow on-road infrastructure to become “smart.” When environmental sensors on traffic lights connect to the 5G network, they can respond to each other and to cars, streamlining traffic flow and preventing jams. For instance, when a traffic light recognizes a change in normal patterns, it will be able to tell all other traffic lights on the network, so that the entire traffic system is aware.
4. Your Commute Will Get Shorter
When all vehicles can connect with each other over a 5G network, going from point A to point B can happen quite efficiently. Vehicles will be able to drive closer together thanks to well-coordinated movements, and take up less space on the roads as a result. With smart traffic lights assisting with the flow of traffic, you’ll spend less time held up by red lights and traffic jams on your way to work.
5. You’ll Spend Less Money on Gas
Testing conducted at Carnegie Mellon University found that smart traffic lights resulted in a 40 percent reduction in traffic stops and a 21 percent decrease in gas usage. With faster and more efficient commutes, your pocket will benefit from fewer trips to the gas station.
6. Your Car Can Become Your Personal Concierge
In addition to driving you, your car can also assist you by providing other needs at the same time to make your commute more productive. Just like our smartphones are equipped with built-in “personal assistants,” your car can also provide you with the information you need. With 5G networking, it will be able to sync to the cloud and access your calendar, emails and other personal information to help you manage your life within the comfort of your own car.
With 5G connectivity, the future is projected to be more efficient, and your daily commute won’t be an exception. From smart homes to smart transit systems, 5G will likely revolutionize virtually every industry, including the auto industry and transportation in smart cities. The changes we can expect to see will improve efficiency not just for cities as a whole, but also for individuals who can benefit from a smoother, more productive commute to work.