BMW, Daimler, telcos in push to get EU adopt connected car standard

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - BMW, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson have urged the European Commission to back a technology for connected cars they believe would help to speed up the rollout of 5G mobile networks across the bloc.

The call comes as the EU executive prepares to draw up rules to apply to cars connected to the internet, a market expected to be worth billions of euros and which will generate new revenue streams for telecoms operators and equipment makers.

A technology named C-V2X, which enables cars to communicate via cellular networks to other connected devices, is a better option than a rival wifi-based technology known as ITS-G5, the companies said.

They argue that C-V2X would allow EU carmakers to better compete in a global market.

ITS-G5 on the other hand would lock carmakers into a technology “which, despite its name, has no relationship to 5G technology and certainly no evolutionary path toward compatibility with 5G”, they said in a letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other commissioners seen by Reuters.

“This places Europe at an economic disadvantage compared with other regions of the world including China and the United States, where C-V2X is emerging as a strong technology candidate for C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems),” the companies said.

Signatories to the letter include Ford, Huawei [HWT.UL], Intel, Qualcomm, Nokia, SAIC Motor, Samsung, Savari, PSA Groupe, Telefonica and Vodafone.

The Commission, which plans to propose legislation on the issue by the end of the year and which wants to use 5G to boost cross-border trade, confirmed receipt of the letter.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir