A new wave of 5G-enabled cars is heading our way. Audi is the latest automaker to announce it will offer 5G connectivity on selected models of future cars. the german manufacturer announced today that select models of Audi vehicles, starting in 2024, will be able to connect to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.
Drivers of the new Audi 5G range can expect a host of new features, including faster speeds for downloading or streaming entertainment, an improved in-car navigation system with 3D mapping, cloud-based user profiles and even the (arguably dangerous) ability to buy things in your car.
Just note that drivers will likely need to pay a subscription to access 5G services in the Audi car. While Audi has not disclosed how much a 5G subscription would cost, the current On-demand function plan with 4G LTE WiFi in the car and navigation costs $849 a year.
The new 5G vehicles will also build on Audi’s current crop of in-car connected services, including traffic light information and low-latency road alerts. That will likely mean an even faster, more detailed version of what Audi’s 4G-enabled cars already offer. We’ve already seen current Audi models that offer integrated payment for toll roads and will alert drivers when they are near a school buscyclists, road crew and other obstacles.
Audi’s 5G cars will also be equipped with mobile edge computing, which likely means better autonomous driving capabilities as the cars will be able to react to data instantly. The tech industry pushed for mobile edge computing in cars as a way to improve the safety of AV features. Edge computing will enable real-time data processing so cars can respond more quickly to other cars, infrastructure and connected devices on the road.
The US is approaching the future of connected cars that major automakers like Audi, BMW, Volvo, Ford has been pushing. About 60 percent of US drivers used a connected vehicle in 2021, and that number is expected to grow to over 70% by 2025, according to a report by eMarketer. While the disadvantages for drivers include the additional costs of subscription plans and cyber security risksmany still enjoy the added security and entertainment features.
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