It’s gone for 6G in the car!

Zapping on Autonews Paris Motor Show 2022: Dacia Jogger Eco-Smart Hybrid (2022)

There will be talk of 5G this week at CES in Las Vegas, the popular technology show that overshadows traditional car shows. At a conference, players such as Continental and Qualcomm will discuss the impact of this network on board cars. But now, eyes are moving elsewhere. According to Samsung, the future 6G network will be more efficient, with data moving at high speeds and also with greater intelligence. It’s not just about connecting vehicles and infrastructure, but also connecting buildings, household appliances… And why not, to make the link in the metaverse with, for example, 4D ones which map in immersive mode and we call extended reality (link between virtual reality and augmented reality). The network will bridge the Internet of Things and the cloud. Expected for 2028, 6G has already generated a lot of investment in the United States and Asia (Japan, Korea and China). Europe is not left behind, as the Commission has planned a budget of 900 million euros in 2027.

Germany at the pole?

For its part, the equipment manufacturer Bosch is involved in a project* funded by the German Ministry of Research and aimed at combining communications originating from sensors and those received by vehicles. Today, radars and lidars allow vehicles to detect potential obstacles and “see” what road cameras cannot actually see. And they will be important for autonomous driving. The problem is that the data from these sensors is not related to the signals that the vehicles can see again from the mobile networks (localized alerts). The ambition is to create a new unified standard, benefiting from mobility and connected vehicles, on the ground (cars, cargo, warehouses) and in the air (drones). Bosch will do this in three years with the help of partners from the worlds of universities, sensors and electronics. The group will work primarily with Denso and NXP, which are also suppliers in the automotive world.

*6G Unified Communications and Sensing for Mobility

From data mega-fusion

Therefore, the idea is to share the same radio spectrum and forward all communications to the same mobile network, to generate a real-time representation of the environment. And the most powerful thing is that this network can use data from several vehicles to improve the detection of each of them. According to Bosch, it will be better in terms of road safety, while reducing costs and the cost of energy. In the same way, a direct link (“sidelink”) between vehicles will be relevant to share useful information and make autonomous driving possible, even in regions where coverage is poor. cellular. If the theory is attractive, it still needs to be shown in practice that it can work. This is the whole point of this research project, which aims to restore sovereignty to Germany (which gave only 700 million euros until 2025 to 6G) and Europe, while guaranteeing security and data confidentiality.

And France in all this?

France, which presented its strategy on 5G and future communication networks in 2021, refers to 6G in this document. It aims to launch a research project and relies on its ecosystem, including operators, labs and companies (180 of them are currently working on 5G). As far as the automotive sector is concerned, 6G is not yet on the agenda. Currently, the PFA (which brings together manufacturers and equipment manufacturers) is involved in the 5 G Open Road project, where it is cooperating with Nokia. The consortium, which brings together sixteen players, will work until 2025 in Saclay, near Paris, with an envelope of almost 90 million euros (this project is co-financed by the members of the consortium as part of the Investment Program of future and of BPI ). Players will test roadside devices for traffic, as well as smart last-mile logistics, and on-demand transportation via autonomous shuttles.

to summarize

As 5G is on its way, automotive players are gearing up for the arrival of the next generation of mobile telephony. A development that should benefit autonomous vehicles in particular.

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