Everyone talks about 5G everywhere, but many people are still very skeptical about the role of 5G. Besides the smoother experience of watching otaku dance and playing Arena of Valor, the impact of 5G can also be found in the monthly increased mobile data plan bill.
To be honest, the current application scenarios of 5G are quite limited, while the fee is quite high. The ideal is terrific and the reality is tough. It's like when you find a superstar that everyone touts sometimes keeps saying a thing and doing another.
I visited Shanghai a couple of days ago and found Roewe all over the place. Recently Roewe has released a 5G electric car with a newly designed “R” logo. I'm just as skeptical as you are: Can 5G really replace experienced drivers?
I’m Danny, I talk about tech and cars. As usual, all information used in my video is authentic and first-hand. You’re welcome to disagree with my arguments.
Chances are often seized by those who look forward, like Reed Hasting, the CEO of Netflix, that I introduced in my last episode about Netflix. He considered the future belongs to streaming media as early as 1997.
5G will hardly replace experienced drivers in racing cars, while the future racing might be like horse-riding nowadays. That is, regular transportation will become entertainment eventually. Just like one Elon Musk’s famous saying:
I’ll talk more in my next Tesla episode. Anyone interested?
Here I’ll introduce you to the Danny 5G Model.
It has two dimensions. The vertical dimension consists of "application" and "fundamental pain point", and the horizontal dimension consists of "stock demand substitute" and "incremental demand".
For example, many people now think that the function of 5G is like a white elephant. This is very understandable because they only see 5G functions as the "stock demand substitute" in the upper left corner of the model. Such as using voice control in a car to open the window, play songs and navigate.
In fact, these functions can be completely replaced by mobile phones, and the demand is not so urgent. If delve deeper, we’ll see that the fundamental pain point is to reduce interference.
People should focus more on what kind of incremental demand that the fundamental pain point of 5G will bring. Like enhancing efficiency, preventing accidents and promoting collaboration, which lie in the bottom right corner of the Danny 5G model. Also, the application of those incremental demand requires more attention, and this can be found in the upper right corner. I’ll talk about these three aspects in detail in the following part.
Many people have “road rage”. The fundamental reason is the inefficiency and the uncivilized driving behavior of others. People get annoyed when others start slowly, drive slowly with a long following distance, overtake frequently, etc.
If there are statistics, it stands a good chance that the road rage behavior is more frequent than losing temper with teammates when playing games. To get rid of the road-rage incident, the police are not enough. We also need to rely on the technical means supported by 5G.
The predecessors of 5G,1-2-3-4G, were mainly used to connect people. And 5G is born to serve the needs of “things-to-things” and “human-to-things” interaction. In other words, with 5G, the IoT (Internet of Things) has the same significance as the Internet of People for the first time.
The Internet of Vehicles (IoV) has always been known as the “first scene” of the 5G IoT.
This IoV has strict requirements for cellular networks, which match the four key features of 5G as I mentioned in DannyData Episode 9 about Huawei: high speed, ubiquitous network, low power consumption, and low latency. Current technologies (including LTE-V, NB-IoT, LoRa, etc.） are not able to meet the strict criteria.
Since driving relates closely to life safety and there is a high traffic fatality rate, the ideal IoV can only be fully achieved with the help of 5G.
Therefore, the existence of the Internet of Vehicles can bring much more value than monitoring the vehicle parameters remotely, let alone adjusting seats and the AC automatically. These are not even worth to be mentioned in this case.
The essence of the vehicles is still a means of transportation. It is always the traffic problem that needs to be resolved. There are only two core pain points when talking about traffic: traffic congestions in the city, and the high costs with the low efficiency of intercity transportation, which can be easily found in commute time and the long time traveling home before Chinese New Year. These two issues are the incremental demand for vehicles in the 5G era.
The low efficiency is often caused by too many accidents. The risk of accidents caused by human mistakes will even increase under extreme circumstances, such as rain and snow, drowsy driving, drunk driving, and unreliable drivers taught by impatient instructors, etc.
Although autopilot looks unfunctional currently, the power of the machine lies in the abilities of learning and iterating. With the intervention of 5G, the “AlphaGo” for autopilot is likely to appear earlier than people expect.
Many people simply consider the driving comfort in the 5G era as the automation of opening windows, adjusting seats, shifting gears, etc. In fact, it is more important to realize that comfort is a crucial factor when evaluating whether a new technology can enter the market rather than being a small cool invention played by few tech geeks.
This is like the development of WeChat. First it lets users enjoy using the basic messaging functions, then developed additional services such as Moments, WeChat Pay, and WeChat Mini Programs, etc. I will discuss in detail when I talk about Tencent in the 12thepisode of DannyData. Are you interested?
Similarly, all major car companies are now showing off their excellency in 100-kilometer acceleration, but in fact, whether 100-kilometer acceleration takes 3 seconds or 5 seconds, it is difficult for people to experience this nuance. Even if some car owners could experience the difference, they probably are stuck on the road most of the time.
Moreover, no matter how big the screen in the car is and how cool you feel when you are watching movies, playing games, and doing sports in the vehicle, if you can’t drive smoothly, the “third space” in the car can only be the “third moment.” Just like it’s impossible to think about watching a movie while you are riding a roller coaster.
So how to drive smoothly?
That is the third point I want to talk about, promoting collaboration.
We all know that lots of internet and car companies are competing for a place in the autopilot field. But we’ve also seen that the path to achieve the autopilot is very different for Chinese and US companies.
Autopilot companies in the US don't pay too much attention to concepts such as 5G and vehicle-road coordination.
The technical route of Google, as a representation of US companies, relies more on single-car intelligence, which means that using the most advanced algorithms and powerful sensors—making every car to perceive the world as an experienced driver to and then achieve autopilot.
So, the question is, why do we need to build 5G infrastructure when we already have satellites available? Indeed, satellites have solved the geographical environment constraints exist in the construction of ground-based stations.
However, even if we put the cost aside, the satellite signals may be affected by atmospheric refraction resulting in poor transmission.
Therefore, 5G still has a higher priority in the current telecommunication market, and it is also the irreplaceable first choice for the ongoing development of V2X technology.
这里我要给大家丹尼百科一下V2X，Vehicle to everything。
Here I'll give a brief introduction to those of you who aren’t familiar with V2X, Vehicle to Everything.
It refers to the "exchange of information between cars and the outside world," including information exchanges like V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle), V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure), V2P (Vehicle to Pedestrian), V2N (Vehicle to Network).
On the other hand, the Chinese company's autopilot path relies more on infrastructure advantages brought by 5G and vehicle-road collaboration. That is also the advantage of China's "focusing on major affairs."
From all kinds of efficient infrastructure construction to the earliest spread access to ETC around the world, then to the control of the epidemic, etc., we could see that China’s super execution ability.
The spread of 5G is not something that can be accomplished by one company. It requires the effort of the entire “national team”. Therefore, with the spread of 5G, China's autopilot, IoV, and IoT will all walk out a road that is different from the West.
In fact, any revolutionary new technology will experience a similar trend, which is demonstrated in the Gartner technology maturity curve:
New technology is somewhat like falling in love. At first, new technology is easy to be exaggerated and to be considered as the best and the most innovative one. Then, the greater the expectation grows, the more disappointment you feel. And gradually, you recognize its true color and eventually become mature.
In the future, 5G will play a role not only in building a car but also in system engineering, including road planning, traffic facilities like traffic lights, and even the traffic regulations update. Solving problems through system engineering is what the “national team members” excel in, such as SAIC.
The first one who knows the usefulness of 5G can’t be your neighborhood but the large-scale commercial operations such as unmanned taxi and the unmanned fleet, robotaxi. The later has a place in the key layout of Google, Tesla, Uber, and Didi.
To be honest, I misunderstood domestic cars in the past. But after more and more researches and analyses, I think we should have more confidence in domestic cars. Domestic mobile phones have proven their competitiveness in fierce competition with top brands worldwide. I hope that domestic cars can also battle with the global top players in the 5G era.
Obviously, we can predict the promotion effect of 5G on the IoV and the autopilot industry. However, as He Tongxue mentioned in his video about 5G, what we expect is that 5G can bring an unprecedented world.
We don’t know how the IoV will develop and what emerging industries will be created. I only know that with 5G, we probably can no longer fool our boss or spouse by saying, “I didn’t answer your phone because the signal was bad.”
Now, major car companies are leading us to open the door to the future step by step. Just as my favorite quote from Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte: “The best way to predict the future is to create it."
Well, today I talk a lot about the known and possible 5G application scenarios, and the most exciting part should be those unknown application scenarios in the 5G era. This is just like romantic love, where the real beauty lies in the future that your lover and you create together.
Just like at the initial stage of the 3G and 4G era, people can only singsongs while eating hot pots. But now we all order takeaways and watch Bilibili. As the famous Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, once shared: "Spare no effort to go forward, don’t look back. In this way, you will be able to see the world that you wouldn’t have seen."
And the 5G era, especially to Generation Z, is like an ocean. So just sail into it!
I’ll use a slogan of Cornell University to end this episode: “Don’t tell me what the world is like, tell me how to create it.”
我是小丹尼，谈车说科技。Techs Never Die，回见。
I’m Danny. I talk about tech and cars. Techs Never Die, see you next time.