The prospect of seeing Google’s driverless cars may seem futuristic, but have appeared increasingly
feasible with further advances in technology and 5G networks. Although initial concerns include
safety, control and security, purported benefits once developed and optimised abound. Inherent
benefits to society include reduced traffic congestion, diminished traffic accidents and fatalities, and a
cutback in environmental emissions through more optimal fuel use. Swedish-based carmaker Volvo
has announced its partnership with technology company Ericsson and telecommunication carriers
AT&T, to further evaluate growth opportunities with driverless cars. The technology uses several
cameras and lasers and is currently being tested, with the possibility of having its commercial release
within seven years. Consequently, the feasibility of driverless cars is largely contingent on the
progress made on 5G networks.

5G Network

Relying on 5G

So as to maintain a multitude of driverless vehicles in roads and highways, 5G networks are needed to
accommodate the data requirements of these users. 5G networks will be considerably superior to its
predecessor, and need to be able to handle an array of uses from traffic navigation, entertainment and
communication. While 3G networks supported an estimated latency of 35 milliseconds, this has been
improved by 4G networks that maintain an estimated latency of 20 milliseconds. 5G networks need to
be far more superior, so as to increase the safety and viability of driverless cars. Different data
requirements such as watching television shows in the car through a wireless tablet, to making video
calls will also serve to further increase the load on our wireless networks. Where coverage gaps and
faulty connections typically translate to accidents and casualties, further technological breakthroughs
are required before their viable commercial deployment.
Although the practicality of driverless cars remains questionable, the rapid rate of technological
advances is increasingly contributing to a varied range of possibilities, purely constrained by the
limits of our imagination. Without question, having the necessary technological infrastructure can aid
in supporting new technology be it driverless cars or automated drones. Similar to how advances in
hardware have enabled further breakthrough in software developments, we need to better position
ourselves for the future by investing in the requisite technological infrastructure.