One of the rising services powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) is the development and growth of companies that offer Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions. According to a report from Allied Business Intelligence, revenue growth from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft is expected to go from $30 billion in 2017 to $250 billion in 2022.
In their efforts to lower operating costs and continue their growth trajectory, ride-sharing services are partnering with companies to explore the implementation of autonomous fleet vehicles. According to a story in the New York Times, General Motors hopes to begin deployment of autonomous vehicles in a ride-sharing service as early as 2019. Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle company, Waymo, also has announced the launch of an autonomous ride-sharing service to be deployed in Arizona after extensive testing in the region was conducted last year using Chrysler Pacifica minivans, the Guardian reported.
The race to create a fully driverless car has picked up pace in the automotive industry, and MaaS companies have put themselves at the forefront of this emerging technology. Although autonomous vehicles show promise and are poised to become more prevalent within the next decade, the amount of data generated, as well as the time it takes vehicles to react to that data, are presenting an unworkable challenge for the current wireless communication network. Without an upgrade, ride-sharing companies soon will hit a wall in how extensively they can utilize vehicle autonomy.
5G: Real-Time Data to Make Autonomous Ride-Sharing a Reality
5G promises two key innovations that will enable fleet telematics systems (FTS) to manage vehicle data in real time, as well as give autonomous vehicles on the road the time they need to react to conditions such as obstructions or other cars.
The first 5G innovation is the amount of data that can be processed. Current fleet management solutions utilize 4G LTE systems to provide a large suite of telematics data that is storable in the cloud, including asset location, alerting, workflow, reporting, and social access. According to Barclay’s analyst Brian Johnson, a single autonomous car could generate as much as 100 gigabytes of data per second, which easily would overwhelm even the best 4G LTE system. With 5G, however, exponentially increased bandwidth will allow autonomous ride-sharing vehicles the crucial ability to sense the environment around the car, provide real-time positioning, transmit and receive data from 5G-enabled “smart city” traffic systems and other smart vehicles, and take any action necessary from changing lanes to decelerating without the need for human intervention.
In addition to the amount of data needing to be processed, the low-latency capabilities promised by 5G will be essential to real-time autonomous vehicle operations. In the best-performing 4G LTE circumstances, latency hovers slightly below the 100-millisecond mark. This speed is fine for most wireless applications, but autonomous vehicles have to be able to react instantaneously to the data they receive in order to avoid obstacles and prevent accidents. 5G is expected to provide this reaction time with latency speeds of 1 millisecond.
With these innovations provided by 5G networks, ride-sharing companies may begin widespread deployment of their autonomous fleet solutions, which, in turn, will drive down costs and increase margins with each year the technology improves while in service. When fully implemented, the consumer will be able to order a car on their phone and the FTS will direct the nearest car to their location, navigating them to their destination quickly and efficiently without the need for a driver.
Fleet Telematics with Aeris
The Aeris Mobility Platform provides a rapid time to market for OEMs looking to roll out connected solutions. From connectivity to a device, data storage in the cloud, analytics and analysis of the data, to pre-built solution modules, the building blocks of our platform can be configured to meet specific use cases. With upwards of 10 million devices on the Aeris network, we are adept at delivering innovative, customized M2M and IoT solutions that help asset managers differentiate from the competition, stay on top of their technology investment, and provide more value with the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership.
Contact Aeris today to get started.