While most of the self-driving car news tends to focus on the designs of the cars themselves, it’s what’s under the hood that makes the biggest difference – and that doesn’t just mean the engine. Self-driving and autonomous vehicles will have to be able to communicate with smart infrastructure in order to function safely, meaning all sorts of navigational and environmental data will have to be shared in real time among self-driving cars and their surroundings. To help bring about this autonomous future, many of the biggest names in telecommunications have begun designing and testing self-driving vehicle communication systems in a race to establish themselves in this emerging market. The Korea-based LG corporation, one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers, has just partnered with map data giant Here Technologies in an effort to produce what it calls “a next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles.”
In a press release, Lee Woo-jong, president of LG’s Vehicle Components Company, says the partnership will help LG “continue to advance the next generation of connected car technologies to help prepare automakers for the self-driving era.” Self-driving cars will need blazingly fast and rock-solid communications networks in order to operate safely. LG and Here are developing new 5G telematics products which are designed to be over five times faster and more stable than LTE networks.
LG and Here are developing what they’re calling an “HD Live Map” which can recognize and identify road signs, lane markings, crosswalks, and traffic lights. Many of the world’s biggest automakers like Audi and BMW have already invested in Here based on the potential of this new technology. This HD Live Map is part of what LG calls its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which brings together cameras, radar and lidar sensors, and wireless communication devices. These will enable self-driving cars to share information with their environments and other nearby vehicles.
One day, LG’s technology and other systems like it will enable packs of cars to travel together like flocks of birds, each responding simultaneously to changes in the roadway and to each other. Looks like the future is going to be pretty neat after all.