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back to article Broadcom fries up '5G' Wi-Fi chips to chuck in your connected car

Broadcom's latest chippery supports 802.11ac and Bluetooth LE too – which the company reckons is good enough to warrant calling it "5G" and snatching a chunk of the automotive market. The claim comes because of the Wi-Fi support, which has a theoretical top speed of 1Gb/sec, and despite the fact that this number was once the …

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Silver badge

Pah!

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By 2015, all cars sold in Europe will have to have network connectivity, and once fitted it would be churlish not to use it.

Yeah and make it easy for the likes of GCHQ/NSA/your local council to track your every move.

I predict there will be a lot of people wanting to disable this after on their new Shiny-shiny metal box.

Now I hear that they want to extend this to Motorcycles as well.

Almost makes you want to think about moving to Russia...

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Re: Pah!

I love tech, more than I probably should but even I am struggling to see the point of that requirement being mandatory. It's not going to make cars cheaper, lighter or more fuel efficient. What's the point? ( genuine question ... I'll await the replies [other than "for snooping"])

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Bronze badge

Re: Pah!

I think it's because the powers-at-be want to embed network connectivity on major routes, so that they can track traffic in a meaningful way - one application might see them being able to rephase traffic lights in "real time", or being able to put up accurate information on information boards. Some of these applications are already being down now but this would make it far far more accurate and easier.

For example knowing that "Big Car 2000" is doing 30MPH here, 20MPH there and 50MPH round the corner while "BigBus" is doing 20MPH here, stopping there, then 10MPH round the corner would be potentially more useful than embedding strips in the road and guessing the type of vehicle from the speed and weight.

Naturally, these are limited examples, but having network connectivity on the move will enable a lot more inventive uses, maybe even some sort of emergency-based one ("Big Car 2000" crashes to a dead stop, with multiple impacts, send appropriate emergency vehicles, all within milliseconds of the event happening).

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Re: Pah!

Although it would be nice to think we're not already trackable, this tech will be no different to the mobile phone you, and about 99% of the population, carry pretty much all the time. So actually I doubt many people will disable it at all.

The stated main benefit is automatic emergency services notification in the event of a crash, but I can see it also being a first step to live traffic data, congestion and toll charging, and vehicle usage stats in the first year or two, and probably automated control through communicating with surrounding cars, road-side navigation devices and other live systems within 10 years, and probably fully automated cars in common use in maybe 20 years. All of which need high levels of connectivity to even think of functioning.

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Bronze badge

Re: Pah!

As per above, it's for active traffic management - in case of accidents, you get quick emergency response and also other incoming traffic diverted to different routes. It's also the starting point for self driving cars, get them all networked together and it becomes much simpler to manage all the traffic flow, with the system knowing in advance where each vehicle is going and able to predict traffic jams before they materialise, diverting to less busy routes etc.

The side effect is, of course, that all your movement and speeds are recorded as part of this.

The answer is to get your daily commuter car as an electric drive fully connected box that you don't need to physically drive at all (you just sit back and eat breakfast / surf t'internet etc. on the way into work, not even needing to worry about what route the car takes and knowing that any delay in arrival time will have been communicated ahead to the work appointment server and it will either re-arrange appointments or set up virtual presence direct form the car).

And then your weekend car is a '67 Mustang GT 500. No electronics, no traceability, a bazillion cool points and you can afford to put petrol in it from all the money you save going electric in the week.

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@ Test Man

That's a great use of the tech but you just know the first use of the proposed tech will be billing us for what we've already paid for - access to our roads - and automatically fining us for not doing so in the 'correct' manner.

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HMB

Please Don't Encourage Them

The fastest 802.11ac equipment released so far that I can see operates with real throughput of ~340 Mbps:

http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/asus-rt-ac66u-802/4505-3319_7-35406080-2.html

This is on 1.3 Gb/s equipment.

This is 26% of 'suggested bandwidth'.

My 802.11n 300 Mbps link manages to achieve around 95 Mbps of real throughput and I know that's very high and around 32% of 'suggested bandwidth'.

My old 802.11g kit managed around 24 Mbps out of 54 Mbps of 'suggested bandwidth'.,that's 44%.

With every new wireless release the amount of bandwidth we actually get compared to the big numbers happily splashed all over the boxes gets less and less. I'm tired of this dishonest way of selling wireless. I think they should have to put actual numbers of ideal conditions performance on the box instead.

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Anonymous Coward

all cars sold in Europe will have to have network connectivity

Say what now?

This is Law?

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Bronze badge

Re: all cars sold in Europe will have to have network connectivity

EU law, it looks like.

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TJ1

EU eCall 'intelligent car' initiative

Press Releases: 13/06/2013

The European Commission adopted two proposals to ensure that, by October 2015, cars will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The "eCall" system automatically dials 112 - Europe's single emergency number - in the event of a serious accident.

See also:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ecall-time-saved-lives-saved

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TJ1

Further eCall info from FAQ...

What is the cost?

The basic pan-European eCall service, based on 112, is a public service which must be offered for free. Taking into account economies of scale, installation of the eCall in-vehicle system is estimated to cost much less than €100 per new car.

It is also expected that the eCall technology platform capabilities (i.e., positioning, processing and communication modules) could be exploited for additional services (e.g., advanced insurances schemes, stolen vehicles tracking etc).

Can the vehicle be tracked or hi-jacked?

The 112 eCall is a "dormant" system, i.e. the eCall in-vehicle system is only active when an accident occurs or if it is manually triggered. It is not traceable and when there is no emergency (its normal operational status) it is not subject to any constant tracking. As it is not permanently connected to mobile networks, hackers cannot take control of it.

What about privacy and data protection?

As the eCall in-vehicle system is only active when an accident occurs or if it is manually triggered, there is no privacy issue related to any tracking of the car. For liability reasons, the emergency call centres (PSAPs) will store the data related to the eCall for a determined period of time, in accordance with national regulations and with Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.

The road to eCall

The EU-wide, harmonised implementation of an interoperable eCall service has been on the agenda of the Commission since 2005 and is a priority action for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems. As an important road safety measure, the rollout of eCall is also a priority for the EU automotive sector, within the CARS 2020 action plan, presented by the Commission in November 2012.

In 2009 the Commission reported on the progress in introducing eCall and concluded that as the initial voluntary approach was insufficient, regulatory measures had to be considered. In July 2012 the European Parliament adopted a resolution which urged the Commission to submit a proposal to ensure the mandatory deployment of a public, 112-based eCall system by 2015 in all new type-approved cars and in all Member States.

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-547_en.htm

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Gold badge

Of course not 5G

Of course, this is not 5G. The "G"s are to follow cell phone standards, which Wifi and Bluetooth are most assuredly not. I think one rude surprise these vendors will find is that wifi is very VERY **VERY** poor at sharing a channel. Cellular systems, the cell site keeps a tight reign on devices, coordinating channel access and so eliminating the hidden node problem. Wifi has options for this which are generally not used, so a wifi network with a few users will run great, but a wifi network with enough users will get huge amounts of collissions and retransmissions to the point of being absolutely useless under a load where a similar amount of spectrum running a cellular standard would not yet be breaking a sweat.

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