5G Transition Opens New Opportunities for Autonomous Trucks

5G Transition Opens New Alternatives for Autonomous Vans

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The transition to a 5G wi-fi community is prone to open up new alternatives by way of autonomous trucking expertise.

“Probably the most essential side of connectivity for autonomous automobiles is excessive ranges of dependable connectivity,” stated Chris Gutierrez, director of analysis and growth of autonomous programs at Navistar. “The transition to 5G will allow new alternatives to improved protection and reliability of the present 4G networks.

“Whereas autonomous automobiles might not require 5G expertise in all instances to finish their duties, the build-out of the brand new community will present the alternatives to lift the bar and reduce the burden on the autonomous automobiles.”


Navistar is among the many truck producers which have centered on creating driverless applied sciences. That features partnering with autonomous driving expertise firm TuSimple to develop a commercial-ready Stage 4 absolutely autonomous driving resolution for longhaul heavy-duty vans. At Stage 4, human interplay shouldn’t be required throughout operation.

“One of many largest advantages is that 5G guarantees decrease latency — round 5 milliseconds versus 4G’s vary at 60-90ms,” a TuSimple spokesperson stated. “With this improved efficiency, a truck taking place the freeway with a dependable connection is ready to obtain info a lot faster. This is likely one of the extra useful options when in comparison with older applied sciences. For instance, with decrease latency, autonomous distant operation facilities within the cloud can get visitors situation change info to the vans faster.”

The spokesperson added that one other good thing about 5G functionality is that add speeds could be about 30% sooner. The efficiency enchancment will provide higher visibility for distant operators keeping track of the truck once they stream digicam and lidar knowledge to the cloud.

“All and all, 5G will grow to be extra helpful particularly when the autonomous fleets begin to scale and are extra extensively obtainable on the highway,” the spokesperson stated. “Getting ubiquitous wi-fi protection stays a very powerful part no matter speeds on the subject of connectivity.”

Navistar International truck with TuSimple autonomous technology

A Navistar Worldwide truck geared up with TuSimple autonomous expertise on show at 2022 CES in Las Vegas. (Joe Buglewicz/Related Press)

Driverless expertise corporations are unlikely to depend on cellular networks for main capabilities as a result of the autonomous truck programs want to have the ability to function safely and independently. Sensors and cameras are extra dependable for quick and uninterrupted readings of circumstances, however cellular networks could also be helpful for secondary capabilities comparable to sourcing info on visitors and climate.

“Though Plus is creating our autonomous driving expertise and merchandise unbiased of 5G or V2X being obtainable, sooner V2X implementation made doable by 5G expertise would result in safer mobility and fewer visitors congestion,” Plus Chief Working Officer Shawn Kerrigan stated. “This creates a safer highway atmosphere for absolutely autonomous vans to function in, along with the protection features that self-driving vans already result in on their very own.”

Shawn Kerrigan


Daimler Truck AG and Torc Robotics entered into their fourth yr of partnership Oct. 6. Their focus has been on trade collaboration and commercializing of Stage 4 autonomous vans within the U.S. for longhaul purposes. Daimler Truck gained a majority share in Torc in 2019.

“The sensors put in within the car [camera, lidar, radar] plus a extremely correct map are liable for making certain that the automated car can safely navigate and detect objects,” Daimler Truck and Torc stated in a press release. “5G shouldn’t be completely vital for automated driving. Nonetheless, in vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, 5G is a promising new expertise that we’re investigating.”


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The assertion additionally famous that the expertise may allow the change of messages between automobiles and highway infrastructure or different programs. This makes it doable for the system to grasp when there’s a potential for harmful conditions comparable to slippery ice on bridges, or visitors info comparable to sudden stopped visitors behind a hilltop earlier.

“Car-to-X communication thus represents a further, potential sensor for future growth,” the assertion continued. “Whereas our present, short-term objectives for Stage 4 expertise don’t embody 5G integration, we see the chance in automobiles that may talk no matter their place so as to have the ability to use it throughout the board, to offer personal related info and to get visitors info and warnings, highway details about development websites or climate circumstances, map updates, and many others.”

AT&T on Feb. 22 turned the primary main community to make the transition. This represented a serious step in mobile service suppliers shutting down their 3G networks to free wi-fi spectrum for present 4G LTE and the still-expanding 5G networks.

“Our autonomous automobiles don’t depend on a continuing wi-fi connection for the car to function safely and don’t use V2V, 5G or teleoperation/distant driving,” a Waymo spokesperson stated. “We might use a cell connection to share supplemental info with the car’s autonomous driving system about circumstances on the highway, however all of the driving choices are made by our tech — the Waymo Driver — itself, relying totally on the on-board sensors [lasers, radar, cameras, etc.]. Our method relies on our perception that an autonomous driving system, which is rigorously examined and has backup programs and redundancies to deal with the surprising, is the most secure mannequin.”

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