Germany set to reject EU plans for WLAN technology for autonomous driving
BERLIN, July 4 (Xinhua) -- German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer intends to reject European Union (EU) plans to adopt wireless LAN (WLAN, local area network) technology as a uniform standard for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Thursday.
On Thursday, the European Commission is set to decide whether autonomous cars will be communicating with one another via wireless LAN technology or via cellular technology like the new 5G mobile phone communications standard.
By setting new rules in form of a delegated act, the European Commission aims to step up the implementation of so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). These systems "will allow vehicles to talk to each other, to the road infrastructure and to other road users," the Commission explained in March.
The Commission has so far opted for wireless LAN technology as the communication standard for autonomous vehicles.
Germany's largest carmaker Volkswagen also relies on wireless LAN technology, while the premium carmaker BMW and Germany's largest communications company Deutsche Telekom prefer a cellular solution.
Handelsblatt reported that Minister Scheuer had decided to oppose the European Commission's draft "contrary to the opinion of experts" in the German Ministry of Transport.
The German Ministry of Economic Affairs, under the leadership of Minister Peter Altmaier, would "follow Scheuer's opinion" and had also decided against the European Commission's draft delegated act, according to Handelsblatt.
Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, automotive expert at the German CAR Institute, told Xinhua that it would be reasonable to focus on the 5G standard for autonomous driving. "5G will become the worldwide industry standard" so there would be "no way around this technology," according to Dudenhoeffer.
As for future markets, it would be important to rely on the standard "that most people use." China, for example, would be "the furthest in 5G technology," emphasized Dudenhoeffer. It would therefore be important to concentrate on adopting "future technologies."