Car maker BMW has announced a new partnership with Samsung and HARMAN at CES which will see their iNext EV concept production vehicle equipped with 5G when it launches in 2021.
BMW and Samsung are jointly developing 5G technologies for the car, which will see BMW adopt a number of new features. The technology is going to be modular, allowing for fast upgrades as they’re developed and allow them to bring features to new models down the track.
BMW has said that ‘5G technologies are a prerequisite for autonomous driving’ and the car maker intends to move towards this end including support for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) which gives highly accurate and reliable positioning, essential for semi-automated driving functions which BMW will include in the iNEXT.
The car will be equipped with its own low latency 5G connection through a built-in SIM card, negating the need for the driver to have a 5G connected device.
While there’s quite a few applications for 5G for directing the car, it can also be used for more mundane things like streaming entertainment to passengers in the car. Low-latency game streaming, or viewing 4K resolution movies on a long drive are also possibilities for a 5G connected car.
Whether the 5G tech will be standard on the iNext, or be provided as a feature option isn’t clear. Trends in technology are moving forward though and signs are pointing towards a connected car being more integral to driving on our modern roads and BMW is nothing but on track with those trends.