Renault and Orange have joined together to test 4G/LTE technologies and explore how they can be used within cars in the future.
4G/LTE technology will allow data connection speeds of up to 100 megabits per second in cars, well above the UK average which was 14.7 megabits per second in May 2013.
An initial test of this connectivity is underway on the NEXT TWO, a prototype based on the all-electric ZOE. The NEXT TWO will be presented at the upcoming Le Web’13 conference.
Commenting, Rémi Bastien, Head of Engineering Innovation at Renault, said: “This partnership is an example of an effective working relationship between two very different worlds. We were able to benefit ahead of time from a high-speed LTE network and from Orange’s expertise, with an opportunity to take advantage of the network for our prototype of the connected vehicle of the future.”
Orange has rolled out the 4G/LTE technology earlier than planned at Renaults research and testing facilities. This will allow both companies to test how it works in real-life situations when placed inside cars.
Nathalie Leboucher, Head of the Smart Cities Program at Orange, said: “We are delighted to provide Renault with the unrivalled performance of our 4G network and thereby contribute to the development of new web-mobility uses and services for the vehicles of the future. Connected cars make travelling more efficient through communicating services and stand as a major development priority in Orange’s strategy.”
While 4G/LTE technology could allow for virtual office, cloud gaming and video conferencing we believe it will be a while before we see this being implemented in cars. More likely would be a the use of the high-speed data transfer to stream content from a central location to cars. At first being used to build upon Renault’s R-Link infotainment system.
For example, as with the Tesla Motors’ Model S, using a central database for mapping. Doing away with the need for SD cards containing potentially out-of-date data and just streaming maps from ‘the cloud’. As the SD card in the ZOE can be easy to dislodge, this would be a welcome feature.
High-speed data transfer to cars could have many other possible applications for a manufacturer willing to push into other areas such as: Self-driving cars, streaming of HD movies to keep kids quiet in the back seats and integrated ‘dash cam’ style recording in case of accidents.
What do you think of 4G/LTE connectivity in cars? Can you think of any potential uses you would like to see? Let us know in the Comments below.
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