The Impact of 5G on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

5G uses a different technology than previous cellular networks. It uses new bands of the wireless spectrum and a different way to deliver data.

These differences will open up opportunities for a wide range of applications. But they also create risks for hackers.

For example, mmWave signals attenuate more quickly and can be blocked by physical objects. To overcome this, 5G uses a network of small cells.


For AVs to connect to and work with the cloud, they’ll need superfast download speeds. The good news is that 5G connections can reach up to 10 gigabits per second, which makes it 100 times faster than 4G.

However, these numbers only reflect ideal conditions, and download speeds vary by cellular band. Plus, the more people using a cell tower at the same time, the less bandwidth that’s available for each person. That’s why mmWave bands will be key for AVs.

Another important factor in AV connectivity is latency, which is the gap between the signal being sent from a cell tower and when it’s received by a device (like a car’s onboard system). 5G can cut that to just 1 millisecond. That means drivers will be able to use AV services like remote diagnostics without losing track of their location or missing critical information. They’ll also be able to get roadside assistance faster, so they can be back on the highway in no time.


While fully autonomous vehicles are a long way from coming to market, 5G will bring them one step closer by providing the data they need to operate. 5G will enable cars to communicate with each other, road sensors and infrastructure, and even with traffic control centers.

This technology will also make it easier to manage car maintenance by allowing companies to send information about problems like potholes directly to contractors, cutting down on time spent idling in the garage and reducing emissions. It will also be possible to detect weather conditions, as twenty-one percent of accidents are due to weather-related issues.

To support these functions, the network will need to be reliable with low latency. MEC and NFV enabled 5G can offer this level of reliability by offloading the processing of large amounts of data from the core to edge devices. Coronado et al. propose an architecture for a Zero Touch Net- work & Service Management (ZSM) that uses MEC and NFV to select the most appropriate computing resources for V2X applications.


Providing reliable low latency communications is critical for autonomous vehicles. AVs will need to communicate with each other and with road sensors to collect data and share it in real time. In addition, they will need to perform data analysis quickly and reliably. This can be done with 5G’s network slicing capability, which allows different applications to have their own dedicated bandwidth and communication protocols.

The combination of fast connection speeds and lower latencies will unlock a vibrant IoT ecosystem. Farmers will use 5G to get real-time information about their crops and livestock, while retailers will be able to send offers directly to shoppers. Logistics companies will be able to track and optimize routes faster, while automated trucks will have the ability to communicate with their drivers remotely for more efficient fleet management.

However, these advantages won’t be realized if the core transport network is gummed up with congestion. Operators need to develop robust backhaul and core networks that can handle this new level of performance.


AVs need to communicate with each other to exchange critical information like road blockages and traffic conditions. However, if malicious AVs enter into the network, it can cause serious safety issues. To address this, 5G will take several security measures.

The security features of 5G include URLCC, eMBB and mMTC (mobility media access control). These functions are essential for a variety of uses in autonomous vehicles including video gaming/conferencing within the car, downloading high-precision maps, etc. mMTC also helps in sensing the environment around the vehicle, which is necessary for AVs.

Additionally, MEC-enabled 5G will help in reducing bandwidth usage and latency by offloading content that is frequently accessed. This will allow for a better infotainment experience and safer driving. Furthermore, security and privacy will be ensured through attributes based encryption and blockchain.

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