BMW’s 2021 all-electric iNEXT SUV will be the first car in the world to be equipped with 5G technologies supplied by Samsung and HARMAN. The official announcement was made at CES 2020 where the latter two companies have offered a preview of their 5G automotive technologies with the unveiling of a new Digital Cockpit.
The companies have revealed that the BMW iNEXT will be equipped with Samsung’s 5G TCU (Telematics Control Unit). Its capabilities extend to linking the vehicle’s onboard electronics with external networks and provide real-time information to drivers.
Samsung 5G TCU will provide ‘the ultimate driving experience’
By employing Samsung’s 5G TCU, BMW’s future SUV will be capable of V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication and will offer features such as high-resolution map downloads. The system will allow drivers to connect their all-electric BMW SUV to other smart devices. Car integration is already confirmed for SmartThings in the United States even for non-5G vehicles, and we assume that BMW’s EV will offer similar functionality over 5G, if not through SmartThings then perhaps through a proprietary app.
Samsung’s 5G solution may have also contributed to streamlining the exterior design of BMW’s bold iNEXT SUV. This is because the 5G TPU can be integrated with a new antenna technology that can replace the conventional shark-fin exterior aerials.
Although it will be the first, the BMW iNEXT will not be the only model to leverage Samsung’s 5G TPU. Klaus Frölich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, revealed that BMW is looking forward to ‘spreading this [technology] over the whole portfolio.’ The BMW iNEXT will launch in 2021.