Vodafone Group became the first operator to join the recently launched 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), teaming with a host of telecoms players and car manufacturers to develop connected and automotive driving solutions.
The move represents another sign that the company is stepping up activities in developing connected cars, following its announcement earlier this month that it had begun testing LTE-V2X, a new technology for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
Vodafone said in a statement it now provides more connected car services than any other company.
The association, launched last month, was founded by global vendors Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, chip maker Intel and automobile giants Audi, BMW and Daimler, with a pledge to test applications like connected automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart cities and intelligent transportation.
The cross industry collaboration is designed to develop various aspects of the end-to-end ecosystem, including use cases and technical requirements for connected cars.
Vodafone joins as a platinum member, while its group head of research & development and technology strategy, Luke Ibbetson, will join the 5GAA board.
“The communication between vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians using C-V2X will be fundamental to the creation of intelligent transport systems,” said Ibbetson. “The technology that the 5GAA develops can lead to major improvements in driving and road safety.”
The project has been widely regarded as a way for the mobile and car industries to build technology expertise necessary to take on new rivals like Uber and Google, which are also working on autonomous driving technology.