5G - The New Gold Standard?

Expectations for efficient data transmission to enable cooperative automated driving



  This report contains a Spotlight article from Springer's automotive technical magazine "ATZ" www.atz-magazine.com. and "MTZ" www.mtz-magazine.com. Springer is a German company affiliated with MarkLines.

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  Motorwagen-Zeitschrift (Motored Vehicles Magazine) was founded in 1898 as an automotive technical magazine. From 1929, the name of the magazine was changed to "ATZ (=Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift: Automotive engineering magazine)". In addition to being published in German, the English edition has been available since 2001.


5G – The New Gold Standard?

High-quality data that will allow for the establishment of lucrative business models in the field of mobility are becoming increasingly important within the automotive industry. But the demand for data by the systems integrated into vehicles is presenting an unprecedented challenge for the infrastructure. All the industry’s hopes are pinned on efficient data transfer solutions. Is this the opportunity for 5G?


Material from: Andreas Burkert, ATZ | MTZ | ATZelectronics Correspondent, 5G - The New Gold Standard?, IN THE SPOTLIGHT article from MTZ worldwide [05-06/2021] [the websites of Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, which are available at www.springerfachmedien-wiesbaden.de] reproduced with permission of Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH.




5G - The New Gold Standard?

The speed and efficiency with which packets containing several gigabytes of data can be transmitted will determine the future of modern mobility. A powerful digital infrastructure is therefore of huge importance for the development of connected driving, advanced data-based services and new business models. Companies which want to remain profitable and competitive in the long term must create business models based around data. If they do not succeed in doing this, there is the possibility that they will go under. The foundation for all their efforts is an efficient data transmission system. Is this the opportunity for the fifth generation of mobile networking (5G) to establish itself as the new gold standard? According to the car manufacturers we spoke to, the answer to this question is yes. “We are impressed by the technology,” said Jörg Plechinger, Head of the Car2X & Mobile Connectivity Platform at Audi. The IT specialist explains that he sees 5G technology as the ideal solution in the long term, including for the establishment of cellularvehicle- toeverything (C-V2X) connectivity. Until now, this has been based on LTEV2X, in China and the USA for example, and has been operating with a 20 MHz bandwidth on the 5.9 GHz band. “It is primarily used for safety systems and, in addition, for cooperative functions,” Volkswagen told us.



5G rollout began in Germany in mid-2019; the complexity of 5G antenna technology prevents satisfactory 5G network coverage before 2026


  5G will allow road users and the infrastructure (vehicles, smartphones, traffic signals etc.) to communicate with one another directly. However, Volkswagen is of the opinion that although 5G provides a direct communication solution,it “cannot yet be used in a commercial context because of the radio frequency problem.” The company explains that there are services “we cannot offer yet, because many technical features of 5G are not ready for commercialization.” One example cited by Volkswagen is the reliability of the predictions of quality of service (QoS) in the 5G network which “in our view is in need of improvement, in particular with regard to the implementation ofsafety-related connected functions for our customers.

” For this reason, the group is currently using WLANp in Europe (VW) and C-V2X in China (Audi, VW). In the USA, 10 MHz is available for WLANp and 20 MHz for C-V2X. However, the close links in the direct communication via C-V2X with 5G pave the way, according to Volkswagen, “for further development in this area to 5G-V2X.”

  All the stakeholders are hoping that significant progress will be made by the global, industry-wide 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), which is prioritizing the definition of the standards needed to make driverless cars a reality.  The requirements placed on 5G-V2X are aimed at allowing direct communication for cooperative and autonomous driving and for sensor-sharing applications. 

This is an invaluable advantage, also with regard to road safety, as Vishnu Sundaram from Harman explains in a guest commentary [1] in ATZ. As Senior Vice President of the Telematics business unit of the Harman Automotive division, he understands the opportunities opened up by 5G in particular because of its very fast response time (latency) when compared with previous standards.


  The objective of developers is to send a signal to a recipient within 1 ms. The possibilities that this offers are described by Deutsche Telekom using the example of an autonomous car that can evaluate data with a latency of 1 ms. It responds “1000 times more quickly than a person and therefore in a car traveling at 100 km/h can initiate a braking maneuver within a distance of less than 1 cm” [2]. This is a key requirement for applications such as truck platooning and the example illustrates what the 5G standard can achieve in ideal conditions.

  The fact that 5G has been designed for a large number of users – the 5G network can support up to one million devices per square kilometer without crashing – highlights the opportunities offered by 5G-based services for users and providers. An important factor for ensuring a high level of acceptance within the automotive industry is that 5G has standardized the guarantee of the QoS as an end-to-end connection for automotive applications.

Connectivity via WLANp for road traffic is already possible in EU countries at a low cost; it is not dependent on the development of the 5G mobile network



  The established 3G and 4G network technologies provide only best-effort services in the automotive field. This means that the network resources are assigned as uniformly as possible to participants in the cell, without prioritizing any users. “For our automotive applications this means that once the resources are ‘used up,’ we can no longer offer them or at least not temporarily,” explains Ahmad El Assaad from Volkswagen. He is an expert in the use of 5G for connected and autonomous driving and believes that the new advanced mobile network standard will resolve many problems.

  Service level agreements with mobile network operators will guarantee the QoS for networked services in vehicles using 5G. “As the mobile network cannot offer the same resources everywhere, 5G provides the functionality for predicting the QoS along the vehicle’s planned route,” says El Assaad. This requires the vehicle to share its route with the network, of course. Both the network slicing and the QoS are then standardized for the connection between the vehicle and the mobile network.

The speed at which data can be transmitted via 5G is fundamental to avoiding collisions


  According to Deutsche Telekom, network slicing is a network architecture that enables the multiplexing of virtualized and independent logical networks on the same physical network infrastructure [3]. Several mobile network operators also offer this as a commercial product for the end-to-end QoS between modems and back-ends via the 5G mobile network. This represents an additional business model for 5G license holders in Germany – alongside Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O2, 1&1 Drillisch has also acquired licenses – which will allow them to recoup costs which amount to 6.55 billion euros just for the purchase of the licenses at auction.

  In the meantime, the automotive industry is putting every effort into developing new data-based business models, in the knowledge that connectivity will open up new sources of income. The focus is on systems for preventive maintenance, improved navigation and car-sharing services and personalized infotainment offerings. Of course, alongside the software functionality, almost all types of payper- use systems are a possibility. If the opportunities for preventing accidents and improving the traffic flow with autonomous vehicles in future are included, the GDP of the mobility sector could increase to between 170 and 280 billion US dollars by 2030, according to a recent study by McKinsey [4].

Jörg Plechinger
Head of the Car2X & Mobile Connectivity Platform at Audi


We are likely to see rapid growth in databased business models on the back of 5G. Which of your projects are involved in this area?

PLECHINGER_ We have already given an indication of this as part of several (pilot) projects, for example at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the 5GAA-Meeting in Turin and in the 2020 pilot project with the Virginia Department of Transport. However, we would ask you to understand that at the moment we cannot provide any information about possible future services.

Are you creating a business unit for data-based business models?

PLECHINGER_ For several years the Audi Digital Experience and Business division headed by Sven Schuwirth has been focusing on digital premium services in and around the car, new mobility services and digital sales, as well as developing a digital ecosystem.


Assessment of the relevance of 5G for the increase in expected revenues by industry (Survey | Source: BPI Network)

Disruptive changes expected from 5G by industry (Survey | Source: BPI Network)


  For competition reasons, none of the German automotive manufacturers we asked were prepared to reveal the actual revenue that they are expecting to earn on the basis of 5G or to give details of the lucrative business models that they will be introducing in the near future. There is a huge amount of competition around data-based business models, as a quick look at the US IT landscape indicates. The Alphabet subsidiary Waymo in particular, which is responsible for developing the systems for autonomous driving within the Google group, is one example. However, CEO John Krafcik emphasizes that “Waymo does not need 5G or 4G. Everything that we require is on board the car.”

  By contrast, other ideas rely on full 5G coverage. These include, among other things, the digital car wallets that will be integrated into vehicles in a pilot project run by Daimler and Porsche in collaboration with the start-up Riddle & Code. The companies involved regard 5G as a game-changer for future blockchain applications. But we have not yet reached that point. “While the mobile network is still being used simply as a data pipeline to transmit our encrypted data, we will not see any data-based business models,” says El Assaad. According to Volkswagen, these will only emerge on the 5G network when “we notify the network about data from the connected functions in the cars, for example as with network slicing, where we have to provide information about the position of our car and the types of applications as a minimum.”


  The prediction of the QoS significantly increases the potential of data-based business models, because details of the current position and the route have to be given. “For this we first need to clarify the requirements of data protection legislation,” explains El Assaad and mentions that “this has a high priority.” Recent events on the semiconductor market are also causing concerns for developers. Increasing levels of connectivity call for highly specialized semiconductors, which are now in short supply for a number of different reasons, including the trade war between the US and China. Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and Xiaomi have been attempting to corner the market for some time.

  The role of the automotive industry and, in particular, that of German manufacturers in this game is very limited. This is demonstrated by the fact that Apple alone bought 53.6 billion US dollars worth of microprocessors for its iPhones, more than the entire global automotive industry, which spent only 50 billion US dollars. This is good news for Qualcomm. While the chip company has seen its revenues increase by 62 % over the previous year to around 8.2 billion US dollars because of the rapid expansion of 5G networks, German automotive manufacturers have been concerned about their production flows. These are the laws of the market economy in action.



  The merciless nature of progress is made clear by a recent report on the impact of telecommunication patents on the ability of the automotive industry to innovate which was published by the Center of Automotive Management and has been made available to the editorial team here. The author Prof. Stefan Bratzel was commissioned to carry out the study by Audi, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. In relation to connected vehicles “serious legal disputes have arisen between the automotive and telecoms industries concerning breaches of patents which are having a considerable impact on the established value creation structure of the automotive industry” [5].

  The problems predicted in the article entitled “Gefährliches Spiel mit dem Patentwesen?” (“A hazardous game with patents?”) [6] seem to be occurring as far back as 2014. This is because many of the patents that are granted represent “a declaration of bankruptcy with regard to the functioning of intellectual property rights.” In the mobile network systems required for autonomous driving a “ban on the use of individual components based on standard patents, for example in the current case of the mobile network modules, inevitably leads to sales coming to a halt and therefore a shutdown of production of the vehicle models affected, with serious economic consequences for the carmakers and their supply chain,” as Bratzel says.

Andreas Burkert



[1] Sundaram, V.: 5G, the Car and the City. In: ATZworldwide 12/2020, p. 86
[2] Telekom (ed.): 5G-Geschwindigkeit ist Datenkommunikation in Echtzeit.
Online: https://www.telekom.com/de/konzern/details/5g-geschwindigkeit-istdatenkommunikation-in-echtzeit-544496, access: March 03, 2021
[3] Telekom (ed.): Einfach erklärt – Network Slicing. Online: https://www.telekom.com/de/konzern/details/network-slicing-485774, access: January 11, 2021
[4] McKinsey Global Institute: Discussion Paper: Connected World – An evolution in connectivity beyond the 5G revolution.
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/our-insights/connected-world-an-evolution-in-connectivity-beyond-the-5g-revolution, access: March 23, 2021
[5] Bratzel, S.: Auswirkungen von Patenten der Telekommunikation auf die Innovationsfähigkeit der Automobilindustrie. Gutachten, Center of Automotive Management, February 22, 2021
[6] Burkert, A.: Gefährliches Spiel mit dem Patentwesen? In: ATZ 116 (2014), No. 10, pp. 30-35


"Data-driven business models will make much more of a mark on the automotive industry than the move to electric mobility ever could. It is understandable that none of the carmakers are prepared to say anything at this point about potentially lucrative business models. They are all concerned about foreign competition. What is less easy to understand is that there is no major IT company and no semiconductor industry in Germany that could compete with US and Chinese corporations in the field of communications technology, particularly given the importance of these industries for the mobility of tomorrow."

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Andreas Burkert
is a correspondent with ATZ | MTZ | ATZelectronics.

Springer, ATZ, 5G, V2X, VW, Audi, Harman, Waymo, 5GAA, Autonomous, Connected, Connected Car, Telematics, Blockchain, Semiconductor Shortage

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