Data Driven Futures

EU votes down Wi-Fi connected car standard

Written by Peter Walker

A majority of European nations have defeated an attempt to create a Wi-Fi connected car standard.

In April, the European Parliament voted in favour of the older technology as the basis for how next generation cars talk to each other.

This vote then had to be approved by the Council of European Union, with the 28 member states giving the final say on the matter. This week they rejected the idea of a Wi-Fi based standard in a blow to backers such as Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota, GM, and Volvo.

In the end, 21 countries - including major car manufacturing nations like Germany, France and Italy - voted against the proposal, which was seen as a victory for those campaigning for a connectivity standard based on cellular technology, most notably 5G.

Critics argued that Wi-Fi is available now and proven, whilst it is still early days for 5G and the deployment of such networks are not yet widespread.

In the Spring, the European Commission endorsed the use of 5G technology promoted by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung – arguing that Wi-Fi offered poor performance compared to 5G networks.

The legislation will govern how future connected and automated cars in Europe send information between vehicles and infrastructure, allowing them to communicate about dangerous situations like road works, traffic lights and accidents.