Imagine you have an appointment somewhere, but do not own a car and have no easy access to taxi or public transport services. In the new era of mobility that is approaching, all of this does not matter – the moment you step outside, a comfortable vehicle will arrive at your doorstep. You jump in and the vehicle drives itself without a human driver, running on green electricity. It very safely brings you to your destination without any traffic jams, and at maximum speed and efficiency. You arrive at your destination, and the moment you need a lift again, there will be another vehicle available to take you to your next appointment or return you home. During the ride, you can work, sleep, play, read, or relax. If you want to ride together with others, this is no problem either. It is like having your own, personal chauffeur who is completely up-to-date with your schedule.
With 5G this is expected to be just one application that pushes the mobility sector into a new era. Faster cargo deliveries, more efficient public transportation (buses, trains, rapid transit) and the delivery of goods with drones are clear examples of the greater capabilities of a connected mobility world.
Autonomous, or “self-driving” vehicles, are vehicles that can interact with each other and guide themselves without needing human intervention. If these are to become a reality in the future, they will depend on 5G-based mobile networks. The Connected Automated Mobility in Europe (CAM) and the Cooperative and Connected Automated Mobility (CCAM) organisations have expressed a clear focus on 5G-based mobile networks.
5G is expected to become a cross-border enabler that fundamentally modernises the transport system in the European Union and its adjacent countries. The European Commission has therefore pushed the initiative “Europe on the move” in May 2018. The mobility sector is expected to profit from four transformative trends – autonomous driving, shared mobility, connectivity, and electrification.
The future of mobility in Europe could bring with it many advantages. Autonomous vehicles can add more security, convenience, and traffic efficiency to journeys through their ability to communicate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and with operators or authorities of traffic management systems. (V2X). Shared mobility reduces the downtime of vehicles, resulting in more efficient utilisation of resources. Traffic management systems could take control of the routes of vehicles to optimise traffic flow and arrival times on a large scale. The movement towards smart factories could also benefit the mobility sector by making the production of vehicles more efficient.