This week we attended Mobile World Conference 2019 (MWC) in Barcelona, the mobile industry’s main showcase event! We got the latest news on 5G, autonomous vehicles, and key updates on the newest advances in artificial intelligence. These innovations are positioned to make our world a little safer, specifically our roads and the way we drive!
Here are a few ways these technologies will shape the future of road safety in the coming years:
This year, early versions of 5G will be deployed in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. “We are truly switching on 5G around the world in 2019,” said president and CEO of Erickson, Börje Ekholm. Widespread access to 5G will take a while, but it will come with many benefits, and one of the most important will be road safety.
5G will have a positive impact on road maintenance with faster data collection creating new possibilities around automation. With the rise of video and radar data, road maintenance crews will receive alerts of life-threatening hazards on the road. Connected vehicles equipped with dash cams will generate crowdsourced footage of potential debris and other hazards on the road.
Today, road crews have to physically go on-site to inspect a problem and determine what needs to be done. With 5G and video crowdsourcing, road maintenance crews will get notified faster when there are problems. In addition to this, departments will be able to rank jobs using data from each situation.
To be fully autonomous, a vehicle has to be able to navigate from start to finish without intervention from the human driver. Luckily with 5G, autonomous vehicles hold great promise. They have the potential to take human errors out of collisions and improve safety on roads. 94% of vehicle accidents in the US involve some form of human error and are potentially avoidable.
To achieve full autonomy, the onboard computers on self-driving cars make use of cameras and radar sensors to generate a 3D view of the vehicle’s surroundings. One of the challenges lies in getting the real-time information needed to make split-second decisions. Today’s connectivity speeds simply don’t allow for self-driving cars to analyze and execute on the data they collect.
In the event of a potential crash, self-driving vehicles depend on super fast data speeds to muster the reflexes needed to dodge hazards. 5G and artificial intelligence will ultimately be combined to give these vehicles a more accurate view of the road, making cars more functional and safe on the road. But how can these technologies be activated for drivers on the road today?
Artificial Intelligence (in the smartphone?)
Artificial intelligence is ushering in a new chapter for smartphones. Even though most of us don’t realize it, artificial intelligence is powering many of the features on several mobile apps today. These include Google Maps, Apple Maps, as well as virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Cortana, and Siri. With new processors like Apple’s A11 Bionic and Huawei’s Kirin 970, smartphones will have built-in artificial intelligence, allowing them to do things like:
- Increase security on the phone
- Improve battery life
- Optimize software settings
- Identify the difference between a dog and a cat when taking a picture
Artificial Intelligence and Driving Safety
When developing a new vehicle, it can take up to four years to go from initial design to a vehicle rolling off the production line. For computer technology, this is a very long time. As a result, computers in cars begin to age from the moment they get on the road. With the average car at eleven years old, technology in 90% of cars are painfully out of date.
With mobile apps running telematics in the background, drivers gain access to the latest technologies in driver safety, artificial intelligence, and 5G in a single device. Even more, artificial intelligence paired with telematics gives drivers access to real-time information on:
- Fuel usage
- Vehicle location
- Driver behavior
With the help of artificial intelligence, drivers are also able to use voice commands instead of using a phone while driving. This could include:
- Looking for gas stations
- Performing Internet searches
- Communicating with other people
Artificial intelligence and 5G will ultimately improve road safety, helping reduce the total number of accidents on the road. In addition, artificial intelligence will add advanced road safety features in cars, such as the ability to understand road signs, auto-brake, and more.
Artificial intelligence will lead to better connectivity and improved vehicle safety for everyone. When combined with 5G and autonomous vehicles, it will lead to improved driver habits. And this is a better way forward.