5G - the secret to more sustainable cars?

A new report from ABI Research indicates that 5G connection speeds could bring about significant changes to the fuel economy of vehicles. Estimating th...

William Girling
|Mar 12|magazine8 min read

A new report from ABI Research indicates that 5G connection speeds could bring about significant changes to the fuel economy of vehicles.

Estimating that 41mn cars will be equipped with 5G by 2030, a figure expected to grow exponentially to 83mn in the proceeding five years. By 2035, the organisation believes, 75% of 5G-connected vehicles will also have C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) capabilities.

“These numbers underline the huge momentum for cellular connectivity, and particularly 5G, in the automotive sector,” commented Leo Gergs, Research Analyst for 5G Markets.

“As a consequence, we will see a rising number of automotive OEMs start developing C-V2X modules for their cars during 2020. We can then expect the first 5G connected cars on the roads in 2022.”

Fuel efficiency through technology

The positive effect this tech innovation could have on sustainability is simple: less fuel consumption via increased traffic efficiency.

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Current estimations place energy efficiency as 40% of the potential for the reduction of GHGs (greenhouse gases) - a big net saving to both the environment, consumers and businesses, who will have to deal with far less wastage on a daily basis. 

With BMW, Volkswagen and Audi paring with telecoms innovators like Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson to put the latest communications technology in their latest models, ABI is optimistic about the many benefits that 5G will bring. 

“The results of these proof-of-concept projects are auspicious and show that, through enhancing traffic efficiency, 5G can reduce fuel consumption by up to one third,” said the report.

Not only that, but car manufacturers will be making a fundamental CSR (corporate social responsibility) move by increasing the safety of drivers, pedestrians and other road users. 

“The sharing of sensor data will make overtaking much safer and will be critical to protecting vulnerable road users. Therefore, bringing 5G-based cellular connectivity into cars will be critical in making the vision of zero road traffic deaths a reality,” said Gergs.