Connected cars, autonomous cars, these are some of the key buzzwords at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok in Thailand. Included are vehicles that are supposed to make our lives easier, simpler, safer and more enjoyable.
Chinese-owned British-marque MG was showing off its car for web-surfing social media addicts. The company is hoping it will push consumers buttons and help revive its fortunes.
“I will show you when you are in the car and want to play wi-fi hotspot. You can push there and access from your mobile phone. Now I am connected to MG GS wi-fi hotspost – you can play internet all the way. And you have the application for MG GS, this one. And you have a GPS tracking, so when your car is lost, or you can’t find your car, GPS is real-time for where is your car. Can turn on light and beep beep and you can find your car in car park or anything,” says MG spokeswoman Titchaya Theewararos.
In-car web browsing is fun, but the vision from car industry and telecoms leaders at this conference goes much further, aiming to combine advanced safety and obstacle avoidance technology with upcoming 5G high bandwidth connectivity.
“You don’t only connect to the car – you connect to the pedestrian, you connect to the bicycle, you connect to the home, the mobile phone, to the data centre. This means you can get more information about the traffic, about the weather. So it’s not only car to car, it’s car to many things, car to anything,” says ITS Thailand’s Passakon Prathombutr.
To make this technology work means bringing together two quite different industries – ICT and car manufacturing.
“There’s a sort of common ground because now the vehicle industry, they recognise the use of this 5G is very helpful for them. We also recognise the vehicle industry also gives us a great service and business opportunity,” says the Director of ITU Telecommunication’s Standardization Bureau, Chaesub Lee.
There are many hurdles yet to overcome but both carmakers and tech gurus agree these connected vehicles are part of our future.