EU Votes Against Wi-Fi-Based Car Standard

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Wi-Fi (c) marinini, Shuttersctock 2013

Victory for 5G? European nations defeat attempt to create a Wi-Fi-based car standard

A majority of European nations have defeated an attempt to create a Wi-Fi-based car standard, in a blow to its principle backer Volkswagen.

In April the European Parliament had voted in favour (304 against 207) of the older ‘proven’ technology of Wi-Fi as the basis for how future connected cars talk to each other.

This vote then had to be approved by the Council of European Union, with the 28 member states, who would have the final say on the matter.

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5G victory?

But they have rejected the idea of a Wi-Fi based car standard in a blow to backers such as Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota, GM, and Volvo, Reuters quoted an EU official as saying.

And it wasn’t a narrow vote either, as 21 countries including Germany, France and Italy which each have significant car industries, voted against the proposal at a meeting of EU representatives in Brussels of the bloc’s 28 member states, the official said.

Whilst the vote is a blow for Volkswagen and co, it is a victory for others who had been campaigning for a connectivity standard based on cellular technology, most notably 5G.

Critics argue that Wi-Fi is available now and proven, whilst it is still very early days for 5G and the deployment of 5G networks are not yet widespread.

The European Commission in April however had endorsed the use of 5G technology promoted by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung.

They argued that Wi-Fi offered poor performance compared to 5G networks.

The vote on the legislation is important as it seeks to govern how future connected and automated cars in Europe send information between vehicles and infrastructure.

Read: What will 5G mean to consumers?

A standard would allow cars etc to communicate about dangerous situations, such as road works, traffic lights, accidents.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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