Sponsored Q&A with Brian Davis, Business Development Manager, Anritsu Company

Q: How is the rollout of 5G impacting the automotive market?

5G delivers ultra-reliable connections with lower latency that results in many benefits, including:

  • Greater Safety – 5G will enhance greater vehicle connectivity via V2X communication to further improve traffic efficiency and reduce accidents.
  • Less Congestion – 5G-based V2X will reduce the number of time-consuming delays during rush hours with vehicle traffic scheduling on streets and highways. Plus, vehicles will “know” the location of open parking spots, speeding up traffic and reducing congestion.

Q: What obstacles must be overcome for autonomous vehicles to be widely adopted?

Based on a TU-Automotive Detroit survey, the biggest hurdle is the general fear of autonomous vehicles (37%) by consumers. Regulations (24%) and technology (10% cybersecurity/network connectivity; 6% V2V) rank second and third. This bodes well for adoption, as I believe the fear factor will subside as the technology moves from the lab to successful trials and implementation. Regulations are being discussed and the rollout of 5G will help on the technology front.

Q: How does test influence the integration of 5G and the adoption of autonomous vehicles?

5G is in numerous devices with very different characteristics used in various environments. Device communication is distinguished by bandwidth, latency, or quality of service, and devices must fulfill various requirements, such as low-energy consumption. Test solutions need to effectively measure the performance of all these devises to ensure compliance. Much of this analysis must be done in real-world environments to conduct functional tests that verify system performance. It is similar for autonomous vehicles. Test solutions must verify performance at the chip and system level, then measurements must be made at the system stage to ensure the vehicles operate according to specification.

Q: What requirements are necessary for test solutions to verify connected car design?

There are 100+ separate control units in today’s vehicles. All these devices, connected with each other, are constantly sending data to central computers or displays. That requires handheld RF test analyzers to check cables, connectors, antennas and amplifiers. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for emergency call services use cellular, radar and DSRC technologies while Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) rely on 4G LTE and 5G for safety features, such as collision avoidance. Radio communications test stations and analyzers, and signalling testers that act as base station emulators are required to conduct the necessary measurements.

Q: Where will the market go in the next few years and how will test solutions address it?   

Evolving standards, spectrum allocations, and technologies will influence the market. For example, there is on-going debate on the 5.9 GHz band and how much of it should be allocated for V2X. Its resolution will affect how systems operate. 5G will continue to grow, enhancing 4G LTE, making the ability to seamlessly and efficiently integrate this technology imperative. As for test solutions, flexible platforms that provide support for current technologies such as 4G and WLAN while having a cost-efficient upgrade path to 5G are necessary. Additionally, test solutions need to have test cases easily written and integrated into testing environments.


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