Mobile device

Audi wants your next car to be both a 5G mobile device and a vehicle

Good old 3G is at the top of the news cycle these days, as it finally fades into the sunset.

Automakers have sounded the alarm that the move would break all sorts of important functions in their vehicles, but so far few have come up with solutions. Audi and Verizon, however, are well on their way, as the two have announced a partnership to bring 5G technology to the German automaker’s upcoming models.

It’s unclear when the services will make their way into a vehicle, but Verizon says it more than doubled its 5G rollout in 2021 and notes that it plans to continue to expand aggressively in the future.

“Audi drivers will be among the first in the world to experience a new generation of automobiles, one in which their car is both a 5G mobile device and a vehicle,” Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin said in a statement. A press release.

Mobile phones and connected devices saw a huge boost in speed when 4G debuted over a dozen years ago, but 5G promises to blow all that up and open up a whole new world of connected services for cars. Audi says the technology will allow passengers to stream and download faster than before and notes that its vehicles will be updated via over-the-air software. The faster speeds also allow for enhanced mapping capabilities with high definition and 3D displays. So, no need to pinch and zoom to read the name of a street in an unfamiliar place.

Audi points out that 5G opens the door to better vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies in its vehicles. The cellular function allows vehicles to communicate with each other and with nearby infrastructure, which could help increase safety. It is also a stepping stone that enables more capable autonomous vehicles, as they will need strong and fast data connections to communicate and negotiate with the world around them.

“Audi was the first automaker to offer in-vehicle Wi-Fi to customers along with 4G LTE connectivity in the 2015 A3, and we will be among the first to bring the next generation of connectivity to our customers in the United States” said Filip Brabec, Senior Vice President, Product Planning, Audi of America in a press release.

Now that even budget cellphones offer 5G connectivity, it’s time for the automotive world to get on board. The Audi-Verizon partnership won’t be the last collaboration we see, and efforts will intensify as more robust self-driving technologies are developed. Faster data transmission will be vital if we hope to have vehicles that can “understand” what’s going on and make real-time decisions about how to navigate live traffic. It should be noted, however, that even with the aggressive development of 5G networks across the United States, it is still not as widespread as 4G and 3G was at its peak.