Is there an opportunity for driverless cars to revive the manufacturing industry?
The arrival of driverless cars is imminent with companies all over the world already testing these vehicles. At first the technology will mostly be used in public shuttles in pedestrianised areas, rather than in high-traffic areas but it won’t be long before we see fleets of automated vehicles hitting the roads in order to ferry us to our destinations.
With a demand for a completely new kind of car, automotive manufacturers are joining tech giants such as Google in developing autonomous vehicles. Toyota predicts it’ll have its first driverless car by 2020, Tesla by 2021 and Jaguar Land Rover by 2024.
Uber boss Travis Kalanick suggested in a tweet that Uber fleet would be fully autonomous by 2030 and would be so cost-effective that it would make car ownership obsolete. If this is to be the case, car manufacturers need to start developing these vehicles in order to stay ahead of a rapidly changing industry.
Recently, South Australia has called for more companies to get on board when it comes to the manufacture of driverless cars. This could be the chance for the area to bring itself back to its former glory as the auto hub of Australia.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill appealed to driverless technology companies to set up shop in the state and fill the economic void caused by the exit of many traditional car manufacturers from the area. At a symposium for autonomous vehicle technology he said: “If you represent a company or a research organisation and if you are an entrepreneur or an investor in this driverless car industry we’re interested in talking to you.”
With more companies getting into the autonomous vehicle industry across the world, this opens up jobs for a lot of people and is going to push economic growth in this industry.
However, seeing more driverless cars on the road could have a negative impact on other sectors. There would be fewer incidents on the road, affecting insurance companies; truck drivers would be made obsolete; and low-skilled workers may struggle to find a job in a world powered by technology.
While a number of people will be displaced by the advance in technology, there is a greater economic and societal gain to be had from driverless cars. Without the need to drive from place-to-place, we will become more productive, spending travelling time getting on with work rather than focusing on sitting in traffic.
There’s also a huge environmental benefit as driverless cars will be more economical than their human-piloted counterparts. This will save on fuel and thus cut down on emissions.
The car manufacturers and technology companies who are quick to adapt are the ones who are going to win out in the industry but some are further ahead than others. Audi, for example, is putting autonomous technology into its A8 limousine which will be fully capable of autonomous driving by 2017.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.