BMW iNext will be first 5G luxury vehicle

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, BMW announced that the forthcoming iNext all-electric SUV will be the first luxury vehicle to come with 5G wireless standard when it launches in 2021. The production version of the Vision iNext concept is expected to have connectivity between 10 and 100 times greater than is currently possible with 4G-LTE. This upgrade to BMW’s tech will be an essential part of the iNext’s Level 3 automated driving capabilities and further advances to infotainment offerings, such as streaming video games. BMW has partnered with infotainment supplier Harman, backed by Samsung, to offer the first 5G-capable car by June of next year. The tech will rely on a built-in SIM card, which means drivers and passengers won’t have to use a separate 5G device to take advantage of the 5G speed.


If SUVs aren’t your vehicle of choice, don’t worry. 5G will begin to trickle into other BMW models shortly after the iNext goes into production next year, with plans to release the next level of connectivity and performance every three years. BMW already has 14 million connected cars currently on the road, starting with the 2004 7 series. In the race toward self-driving vehicles, BMW sees 5G technology as a prerequisite for Level 3 and up autonomous driving. 5G will allow for larger over-the-air updates, which will be essential since autonomous driving will require highly detailed maps of the road to load quickly. Over the air (OTA) updates are possible with all vehicle systems, but the field updates are limited as far as size with the current 4G system.

BMW iNext Concept


Regardless of whether Level 3 self-driving vehicles are cleared for the road when the iNext is released, the fifth-generation electric vehicle will drive like an M car with electric propulsion, have a completely new interior, and boast 5G capability that could make it possible to stream videos to keep your impressed passengers no matter how long the drive.



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