Monday 21 October 2019

Fork in the road: Split over connected car plans

Connected: An engineer checks networking equipment in Swisscom’s 5G network test platform in Bern, Switzerland. Photo: Bloomberg
Connected: An engineer checks networking equipment in Swisscom’s 5G network test platform in Bern, Switzerland. Photo: Bloomberg

Foo Yun Chee

EU states opened the way to competing technologies for internet-connected cars yesterday, rejecting a European Commission push for a Wi-Fi based standard backed by Volkswagen.

The result represents a win for BMW and Qualcomm, which support a rival 5G telecoms system.

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Germany, France and Italy were among 21 countries to vote against the EC proposal at a Brussels meeting of EU representatives, an official said. This contrasts with EU lawmakers who, in April, endorsed the Wi-Fi plan over 5G technology.

The EC, which wants to set benchmarks for a market that could generate billions of euro in revenues for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers, has said Wi-Fi is available now, unlike 5G, and would help road safety.

"We will therefore continue to work together with member states to address their concerns and find a suitable way forward," European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said after the vote.

EU ministers are due to meet on July 8, when they are expected to formally reject the Wi-Fi proposal.

Reuters

Irish Independent

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