- Cities can apply the lessons they have learned from deploying 5G when preparing their infrastructure for autonomous vehicles (AVs), an expert said Thursday.
- David Schutt, CEO of engineering organization SAE International, said cities can build on what they have learned through 5G preparations, which has involved installing small cell infrastructure, and do something similar for AVs by preparing and improving their existing infrastructure while introducing new technology to help cars communicate with traffic signals and each other.
- “What we need to do is find ways as technology evolves, what infrastructure is laid that can adapt and respond,” Schutt said at an event in Washington, DC hosted by media company Axios. “The telecommunications industry has been doing this with cellphones: 2G, 3G and 5G now coming out. We’re going to have to have a similar approach in the infrastructure. It’s a big investment.”
The growth of 5G in cities has been largely driven by telecom companies who are all jostling for a position as a leader in the technology. The future of AVs is just as hazy, as companies carry out tests in closed facilities with only rare sojourns onto public streets. And those public tests, while avoiding being noteworthy, have resulted in some tragic accidents including the death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous Uber in Tempe, AZ. To quell residents’ concerns, Schutt recommended “engaging the public, learning what their concerns are, what their fears are and most importantly getting facts on the table and good solid data.”
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