Published in Transportation

European Union snubs VW's wireless standard

by on05 July 2019

Wants 5G instead 

European Union states opened the way to competing technologies for internet-connected cars after rejecting a European Commission push for a wifi-based standard backed by Volkswagen.

The move is a win for BMW and Qualcomm which support a rival 5G telecoms system.

EU lawmakers in April backed the wi-fi plan over 5G technology. The auto and tech industries have been split over which technology works better and is safer.

The European Commission which wants to set benchmarks for a market that could generate billions of euros in revenues for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers, has said wi-fi is available now, unlike 5G, and would help road safety.

“We will therefore continue to work together with member states to address their concerns and find a suitable way forward”, European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement following the vote.

Other supporters of wifi technology, which primarily connects cars with other cars, include Renault, Toyota, NXP, Autotalks and Kapsch TrafficCom.

Meanwhile, the backers of fifth generation (5G) standard, which will hook up to both cars and devices in the surrounding environment, include Daimler, Ford, PSA, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel and Samsung.

The vote was welcomed by telecoms lobbying group ETNO, whose members have spent billions investing in 5G.

ETNO director general Lise Fuhr said: “Mobile solutions and 5G are back in the road safety picture. The automotive industry is now free to choose the best technology to protect road users and drivers.”

Last modified on 05 July 2019
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