Ford Looks To 5G for Future Connectivity

Ford looks set on a 5G cellular connected vehicle to infrastructure (C-V2X) future strategy as opposed to dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) networks preferred by the auto industry’s two biggest producers.

While both Toyota and Volkswagen are banking on DSRC, aided by European Union regulation, Ford’s cellular commitment was underlined by president and CEO Jim Hackett at the North American International Auto Show where he delivered a future connectivity presentation among the launch of three new models. The cars unveiled included the Ford Explorer Hybrid boasting a possible tank range of more than 500 miles, the performance Explorer ST claiming acceleration sprint times quicker than a $80,000 Range Rover Sport and the awe-inspiring Shelby Mustang GT500 which matches Ford’s Nascar race car’s 700+hp in a street-legal vehicle able to break the 0-60mph barrier in 3.5 seconds.

Yet throughout the presentation, Hackett stressed how the Detroit carmaker is focused on a future mobility solution strategy using connectivity and on-board modems at its core.

TU-Automotive was able to elbow its way to the front for his post-presentation comments where he expanded on the company’s future strategy. He said: “We see that 5G has a big future and the thing to remember it was only a short time ago when you would turn your AOL link on and hear a scratchy sound on your computer. The dynamics of how much we have shifted, with what data can now transact between vehicles and everything else, is unbelievable.”

Hackett said that getting the connectivity on cars properly sorted will enhance the company’s future business success. He explained: “This is why it’s such a bright future because all of the business that comes from the vehicle’s ability to, itself, talk to other vehicles and the cloud in city environments and this is also where all movement in transportation is going to come from.”

He added that the short-term benefits of connectivity will also go a long way to helping traditional ICE powertrains operate at a climate friendly level. Hackett concluded: “A small but profound example is that we are going to improve CO2 emissions performance because of this technology. The vehicle will know a day when the ozone layer is not appropriate for any kind of challenge. Of course, these things will go away over time when all the propulsion changes to just electric vehicles. This is why I am so optimistic about the future of our business.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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