Home News Smart Cities Smarter Cities and Safer Self-Driving Cars: Imagining Life in 5G

Smarter Cities and Safer Self-Driving Cars: Imagining Life in 5G

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We’re on the brink of a breakthrough in wireless technology: 5G mobile internet, which will put the speed of a fiber connection in everything from your smartphone to your car. Youngky Kim, the head of Samsung’s Networks Business, offers a glimpse of a truly connected world.

Making Real Connections

5G has the potential to dramatically reshape our lives, from leisure pursuits to emergency medical treatments.

It gives everything—cars, homes, drones, medical equipment—instant access to the internet. This technology will extend wireless connectivity beyond our smartphones, radically enhancing machine-to-machine connections. By the end of 2018, 5G will be available in dozens of U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Sacramento, and New York. By 2020, experts anticipate 5G mobile networks will be available nationwide.

Entertainment (Actually) On Demand

Today it takes about four minutes to download a movie on a 4G LTE network. With 5G, that same film could be on your tablet or phone in as little as six seconds. At those speeds—and with help from connected headsets—theme-park visitors could stream high-definition, virtual-reality experiences while on a speeding roller coaster.

Self-Driving in Harmony

For self-driving cars to safely navigate the streets, they need to be able to communicate—with one another, with traffic signals and with passengers. Cars equipped with 5G-powered mapping will be able to see and react to their surroundings instantaneously. This will let vehicles alert their fellow vehicles to accidents ahead, preventing pileups. An ambulance racing down a busy highway could signal for nearby cars to pull over long before a human driver could react to its siren.

Smarter, Safer Cities

By combining cloud technology with real-time video and analytics, cities will be able to better manage everything from electrical grids to traffic patterns. In our water mains, 5G-connected sensors could detect and fix leaks long before a break occurs. Intelligent streetlights could direct cars to empty parking spaces. And cities will be able to better track and reduce energy usage, improving air quality and reducing pollution.

A Call for Resources

5G relies on wireless spectrum, or airwaves, for its speed and power. Governments manage spectrum allocation, and there simply aren’t enough high-powered spectrum allocations to bring 5G everywhere it can and should be. Without the necessary bandwidth, we’ll be bottlenecking game-changing speed and capping its potential. Governments need to allocate sufficient spectrum as soon as possible, so that industry can begin new network deployment and make universal 5G-powered services a reality.

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