Given the expected low latency with 5G, the faster connection could give self-driving cars a near identical human reaction speed of when an obstacle is in their path or if another nearby car makes a sudden reaction. And increasing the reaction speed will increase the travel speed of the vehicle, too.
While some people may see 5G as the answer to improving autonomy, other experts believe relying on the fast network could be risky.
“It doesn’t matter how good or how fast a network is. Networks go down for a variety of reasons,” said Scott Faris, chief business officer of Luminar Technologies Inc. “Building an autonomous ecosystem that requires that level of connectivity to operate successfully is not a sustainable solution.”
Luminar is an Orlando-based company with more than 200 local workers, which built its own lidar system for autonomous vehicles — referred to as the eyes for cars. Faris said lidar technology has improved so much in a way that autonomous vehicles solely relying on 5G may become a thing of the past before it even begins.