A connected car is a vehicle that is equipped with sensors and devices that have access to the internet. These enable it to collect data from its surroundings and then send the information to other vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic infrastructure. A connected car can also receive information and (re)calculate the optimal route based on issues such as traffic congestion and accidents. This data exchange network will materialise when connected vehicles become more popular and will lead to improvements in road safety and traffic flow, and allow for greater automation of driving.
This technology has the potential to be implemented for cars, taxis, buses, lorries, and trains, as well as for new participants in the mobility and logistics sectors like delivery drones. The vehicle communication system that will allow the interconnection between all elements of urban traffic is called vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X). This vehicle communication standard requires 5G technology and incorporates other standards such as V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle), or V2P (vehicle-to-pedestrian), to create a fully integrated ecosystem.
5G technology provides C-V2X with stable, real-time connections that have low latency and the ability to connect thousands of devices together. This will allow the system to know the speed, precise location, and direction of travel of other vehicles, as well as whether they are braking or have lost control. In this way, connected cars can predict the behaviour of others and create a safe route through traffic. Vehicles will be able to anticipate critical situations such as accidents and then avoid them in the best possible way. In the more distant future, vehicles may become fully autonomous with no need for a human operator.