Enabling Autonomous Vehicles: 5G, 'Edge Computing'
A car moving at 50mph travels 72 feet—or 22 meters—in one second. If something happens on the road, and the vehicle's network sends a message to the brakes that takes 100 milliseconds to arrive, it could be too late to stop a collision. Any delay could be critical.
Today's wireless networks have run into a problem—more people and devices are consuming more data than ever before, but data remains crammed on the same bands of the radio-frequency spectrum that mobile providers have always used. Those bands, from 300KHz to 6GHz, are used for everything: smartphones, fixed wireless phones, remote control devices, all WiFi 801.11 specs, Bluetooth and other devices.
Having gigabit speeds and low latency, down to one millisecond, is not enough to ensure quick response, especially on self-driving vehicles. Fast on-board CPUs, plus additional processing at basestations, is a must. This is commonly referred to as edge computing.