How can a 5G mobile phone signal improve your ‘driving’?

Volvo CE (Construction Equipment) says that it will be among the first in the world to trial 5G mobile technology in its bid to develop driverless and autonomous machines.

The project involves a collaboration with mobile operator Telia.

Volvo CE says that the ‘5G Partnership Program’ will mean “pushing the boundaries for autonomous machines and developing solutions that increase safety, productivity and up-time”.

The manufacturer claims that it will be in the “enviable position” of being able to test 5G-enabled technologies at a test-site in Eskilstuna, Sweden – “potentially years ahead of 5G becoming available to the wider public”.

A handful of companies from across the Nordic countries – and from a range of different industries – are being chosen to take part in the two-year program. It chiefly involves Telia, along with mobile telecoms firm Ericsson (as its technology partner).

Patrik Lundblad, Volvo CE’s senior vice president (‘Technology’ division), explained: “The advantages of a faster, more reliable 5G network represent a huge step forward in connectivity.

It opens up great potential for processing mobile data and will inevitably impact the ways in which our machines communicate and interact remotely.

“To be at the forefront of this digital revolution and collaborate on developing new technologies is a game-changer for Volvo CE.”

This new generation of mobile network is expected to deliver transfer speeds considerably faster than the current 4G network. Therefore, it will be capable of transporting huge amounts of data in far less time.

Volvo CE will test its potential by creating a local cellular network at its facility in Eskilstuna and use it to “develop its ongoing research into autonomous technology“.

Calle Skillsater, Volvo CE’s technical specialist for ‘Connected Machines’, said: “5G allows us to transport data in ways that we could only ever dream about. It can increase the possibilities for autonomous and remote-controlled machines in our future.”