5G is the new frontier when it comes to connectivity between devices. Everything is connected these days, from the apparent devices like our phones to things you may not think of, like our cars. The Internet of Things (IoT) encapsulates all of these devices that connect to the internet and allows everything to communicate with each other in ways we never thought possible. How does this apply to fleets? 5G fleets are already popping up and will continue to grow in popularity as 5G IoT vehicle telematics become more accessible to different businesses all over the globe. How will this change day-to-day fleet operations, and what does it mean for businesses today?
Types of Communication
There are three types of communication that 5G and the IoT can help create on the road.
- Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V): V2V communication is just how it sounds: communication between two vehicles on the road. They can share information on speed, the direction of travel, or where they’re turning. V2V communication can even enhance automatic braking since vehicles can better sense each other.
- Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I): V2I connects the vehicle with traffic lights, signals, and other infrastructure. If the speed limit changes or congestion increases, it can alert vehicles to this as well. This infrastructure will lead to more fluid flows of traffic.
- Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X): Everything refers to things not included under vehicles or infrastructure regarding traffic. Specifically, it relates to cloud-based information like satellites, weather, and traffic conditions. When it advances, it can even encompass pedestrians and cyclists.
Enhanced communications will help fleets in every aspect of fleet management and driving on the road. Current technology can already send these signals, but with 5G, they will be much faster and more efficient. We will break down their specific uses below.
One of the first benefits of 5G connectivity will be real-time updates that fleets can take advantage of in their fleet management software. Real-time tracking can assist various features, including tracking vehicles while they’re on their routes, optimizing routes based on fuel efficiency and time spent on the road, and using V2V to view potential hazards on routes such as construction or accidents.
Fleets can also improve their drivers’ safety with 5G telematics. 5G is the first step towards autonomous driving. In the meantime, there are driver assistance features such as assisted parking, lane assist, pedestrian alerts, and even augmented road sign information with V2I. There are also many potential uses for 5G making drivers safer that nobody has even thought of yet. As the technology develops, so will innovation and safety for fleets and regular drivers alike.
The 5G feature that everyone is most excited about is autonomous driving. Autonomous driving won’t be a benefit that we’ll see soon, but it’s something that 5G will bring us in the future that fleets, in particular, can enjoy. Autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving vehicles, have already hit the roads in very limited cases. Eighty companies worldwide are testing their use, including General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Tesla. Autonomous cars harness sensors to create maps of their surroundings, detecting obstacles, other vehicles, lane markings, pedestrians, and traffic lights. Once the system detects everything on the road, it creates a path for the vehicle that avoids these obstacles while avoiding traffic laws and driving safely.
One concern surrounding autonomous vehicles is whether they will replace drivers entirely. This concern rises to the surface whenever a new technology is introduced to an industry. An important thing to keep in mind is that autonomous driving is a long way off. It is important to remember that the industry does not shrink with the introduction of new technology; it simply shifts. There is enough time now to train drivers in new roles that they may take on once autonomous vehicles become more commonplace in fleets. Furthermore, autonomous vehicles cannot replace all types of fleet drivers. Skilled technicians like plumbers and pest control experts cannot be automated, although they can benefit from the safety features of IoT technology.
Autonomous driving would be the most significant shift in the fleet industry to come from 5G technology, benefitting drivers and businesses alike.
There will be many changes to come in the future of 5G technology in its connection to vehicle telematics. Fleets need to stay up to date on these changes, as they will affect the industry tremendously in the changing years. Follow Azuga’s fleet management blog for the latest in fleet technology information and stay informed about rules and regulations surrounding these changes.