HARMAN International has announced a new approach to vehicle connectivity that will modernise innovative technology within vehicles being manufactured by today’s automakers. The HARMAN 5G-ready Telecommunications Control Unit (TCU) provides scalable mobile network connectivity for connected cars using either the current 4G network infrastructure or the faster 5G network of tomorrow.
The core technology of this product is built upon a market proven platform already launched in mobile phones. The TCU can be provisioned in a 4G configuration that is cost effective, and takes advantage of today’s network while continuous progress is made to further develop and roll out 5G networks for the consumer market.
Once in a ubiquitous 5G network environment, automakers will have the ability to seamlessly upgrade their telematics systems through an Over-The-Air (OTA) software switch, allowing consumers to benefit from faster connectivity.
Additionally, the ultra-reliable and low latency communications capabilities provided by 5G, will reduce communications lag time by 50x, whereby enabling advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2X) safety systems. Not only will the car be able to analyse and react to its environment faster, HARMAN’s TCU supports simultaneous interoperability with various smart transportation infrastructure technologies, creating additional layers of digital situational awareness and improving roadway safety.
Ultimately, high performance communications systems like these will facilitate robust coordination across highly automated systems, such as Automatic Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), on roadways of the future.
The HARMAN TCU provides a robust and configurable feature set, including Gigabit Ethernet; High Speed Wireless LAN; download speeds ranging from 600Kb/s to 2Gb/s; plus, a variety of I/O, emergency call functions and precision GPS to support safety applications and location services.
“The often-cited conundrum of consumer and mobile network technology outpacing safety-focused automotive features proves to be a challenge for cars that depend on connectivity,” said Vishnu Sundaram, Vice President of Telematics for HARMAN. “By providing a scalable solution, HARMAN assures automotive manufacturers of forward compatibility well into the third decade of the century, when 4G networks will likely be outdated.”