Honda-SoftBank Partnership Adds Fuel to 5G Smart Car Race

Honda and Japan-based telecom SoftBank are going to research connected car technologies for the 5G era, the companies have announced.Honda-SoftBank Partnership Adds Fuel to 5G Smart Car Race

Their work will commence in earnest in April of next year, when SoftBank will establish 5G base stations at Honda R&D’s research facilities in Hokkaido. The aim is to use Honda’s Takasu Proving Ground test course to develop and trial high-speed handover technology allowing fast-moving cars to receive data from multiple base stations. Honda and SoftBank say they will also explore technologies to ensure data transmission in areas with weak cellular signals, and technologies pertaining to car-to-car communications.

The initiative’s announcement comes after news that Toyota and NTT DOCOMO, another Japan-based telecom, had successfully streamed 4K video over a 5G connection to a car moving at 30 km/h in a closed trial conducted in collaboration with Ericsson and Intel. It all points to growing activity in the smart car and 5G markets, both of which are in the early stages of highly anticipated growth.

The announcement also comes after SoftBank partnered with Gemalto earlier this year to use its On-Demand Connectivity platform for remote SIM provisioning, though it isn’t yet clear if that technology will be used in the connected cars to be tested in next year’s R&D program with Honda.