This is how 100% autonomous cars will come to our daily lives this decade

The “Complete” autonomous car can be seen possibly in the “second half” of this decade, “But not in any circumstance, nor mixed with normal traffic”, but “In controlled environments” or “dedicated lanes”, says Federico Ruiz, director of the 5G National Observatory.

On the occasion of his participation in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that begins this Monday in Barcelona, ​​Ruiz has granted an interview to . in which he explains how 5G is progressing and what expectations are had with this technology, in which it is due distinguish between the innovations that this new mobile generation entails and its massive application in the market.

Thus, the operating room and connected car are 5G innovations that have already been experienced, but that for the moment they are not massive “nor do they move the market”. The latter “will take years” to arrive, he predicts.

It refers to the autonomous car, from which the first models with a level 3 of autonomy are coming out, that is, that They have some self-government, on certain occasions.

At the moment, levels 4 and 5 are missing – from a scale of 0 to 5-, that is, full autonomy vehicles have not been achieved. This “could be achieved in the second half of this decade.”

This does not mean that we see vehicles of this type “swarming everywhere”, or mixed with normal traffic.. This second “will take a long time to see, if it is seen at some point.”

“Another different thing is that in the second half of the decade, lanes dedicated to these vehicles begin to be enabled so that they develop in a more controlled environment,” says Ruiz, aware that it is difficult to venture dates in technology, where the future will not always it is as predicted.


5G is still in the “preliminary phase” in Spain, where it is deployed at the same rate as in Europe, without expecting a 5G with a stand alone standard -independent of 4G- until 2022.

Now, tests are being carried out and at certain specific moments speeds can be reached with mobiles similar to that of fiber optics. However, the latency is still not different from 4G, he explains.

People are beginning to talk about 6G, but 5G will still be with us until the “end” of the decade. The 6G standards will begin to arrive from the second half of the decade and it will be in 2030 when this sixth generation of mobile technology is expected to be mature, he says.

Until a year and a half ago, Ruiz avoided talking about 6G considering that it technically did not exist. “You have to get used to thinking that these are long processes,” he recalls, citing as an example how long it took for 4G to mature. In this context, it is important to manage expectations, he says.


In July, the 700 Mhz band will be auctioned in Spain – one of the three necessary for the deployment of 5G – and on which it does not expect a “dramatic” impact on this technology. However, it will show in the coverage.

The changes will be more appreciated with the 26 Ghz band -the last one to be auctioned in Spain- which will be the one with which interesting cases can be developed that will affect manufacturing processes or logistics centers the most.

In this band, it remains to be seen how it unfolds and which operators exploit it: “if they are the current ones or new ones enter”. At this time, operators should begin to release the 2G and 3G frequencies.


Two days after revealing that Vodafone will pre-commercialize the 5G ‘stand alone’ with a “core” supplied by Ericsson, unlike other occasions when it turned to Huawei, Ruiz has pointed out that technology providers in Europe are beginning to practically limit Ericsson and Nokia.

This supposes “a considerable change” considering that “until now the operators were not in favor of doing without anyone”.

This not only happens with the infrastructure network, but also with the mobile phones themselves, especially after LG “has thrown in the towel” and the market has been practically in the hands of Apple – which does not participate in Mobile – and Samsung.

To these are added Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, but in reality there are “few players” (actors). It also happens with the chip market, remember.

The 5G National Observatory is a public-private initiative promoted by MWC, the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures and with the aim of analyzing the 5G ecosystem in Spain and identifying its main actors, as well as the initiatives under development. .

One more year the Observatory will be in Mobile, with several scheduled events, a congress that will be “transitional” post-pandemic and in which its main novelty will be precisely its format, a mix of face-to-face and virtual.

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