Verizon and Audi of America have agreed to bring 5G connectivity to the automaker’s U.S. lineup, estimated to begin with select models for the 2024 model year, according to a Feb. 22 announcement.
The collaboration will bring embedded 5G Ultra Wideband connectivity to Audi vehicles and will provide improved architecture for personalized and augmented mobile services, new driver-assistance features, and connected services for the automated future of driving, the brand said.
“Audi was the first automaker to bring in-vehicle WiFi to customers as well as 4G LTE connectivity in the 2015 A3, and we will be among the first to bring the next generation of connectivity to our customers in the U.S.,” said Filip Brabec, senior VP, product planning, Audi of America. “We value our partnership with Verizon and their eagerness to push the boundaries of what’s possible as cars continue to become even more connected.”
5G will allow vehicles will be able to receive firmware and software upgrades over the air, infotainment and navigation systems will be enhanced, and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology will let vehicles respond to other vehicles and infrastructure around them for low-latency alerts and messages. This technology will be crucial to development of automated vehicles and safety advancements, such as providing a fuller view of vehicle environments, beyond what drivers, vehicle cameras and radar systems can observe, the announcement adds.
“Audi drivers will be among the first in the world to experience a new generation of automobiles, one in which their car is both a 5G mobile device and a vehicle,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “We’re proud to bring our transformative 5G networking expertise in the world to a visionary partner like Audi, whose premium automotive engineering deserves second-to-none 5G technology to match.”
Verizon is planning to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband network, recently deploying new C-band spectrum assets, to grow coverage to parts of more than 1,700 cities around the U.S.
Last August, General Motors and AT&T announced a similar deal to bring 5G connectivity to millions of GM vehicles.