5G as The Backbone of Future Mobility

future of mobility 5g

As a leading automotive supplier, the HARMAN Connected Car team knows an important technology when they see one. After all, we were responsible for the world’s first single DIN radio/navigation system produced more than 20 years ago. But there is another paradigm shift on the horizon and it’s going to take a totally new type of connectivity for automakers to keep up—it’s going to take 5G.

The automotive industry is now at a critical intersection: communication, information, and control are all demanding new technology to support their impacts on everyday life. The car will need to adapt, so connectivity during transport is on par with connectivity at home and in the office. As it stands, the current 4G LTE network cannot provide the data rate or latency needed to keep a car connected to more demanding services and infrastructure networks. Essentially, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication won’t be possible without 5G, which can enable data rates up to 20 Gbps and ultra-reliable, low latency communications with only 1 ms delays. It will also allow for Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) which sets the foundation for an IoT-powered future where a car can interact with millions of connected devices, from VR gadgets to smart traffic projects.

Not only will 5G be necessary to handle the technical requirements of future mobility, it will be needed as the role of the automobile changes. We see a future where many people will turn to car-sharing services to use a vehicle on-demand – and that vehicle could be entirely autonomous. Because this change won’t happen overnight, ensuring these types of vehicles interact safely with the legacy cars and trucks owned and piloted by human drivers today will be critical to the success of future mobility. 5G is currently the only network that can support a smooth transition period.

Another area where 5G benefits connected cars is safety. With the speed at latency of 5G, ADAS features become much more effective – including the ones already available today such as blind spot monitoring and lane departure control. As autonomy increases, cars will also need systems to manage cooperative driving, traffic congestion, pedestrian warnings, traffic light and speed advisories, and even fuel and charging station discovery. 5G provides network connectivity and communication capabilities that allow these systems to function properly to create an interactive vehicle ecosystem.

In as little as four years from now, the cumulative number of next generation internet-connected cars could reach 220 million. Each one will need control units that have never been seen before – such as HARMAN’s own Telematics Control Unit (TCU). This first-to-market 5G-ready control unit supports a host of functions, such as Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) which allows for seamless software updating, and V2X. Together with Samsung’s experience with telecommunications, the system can help enable 5G as the backbone of future mobility.

Find out more on Harman blog.

Why Convertible Cruising is NOT the Same Without HARMAN

harman audio convertible cruising

In the summer, linen replaces wool, menus switch soup for gazpacho, and when reaching for car keys drivers prefer convertibles. Open air vehicles are all about the x-factor: they trade structural rigidity, weight, and storage space for the enjoyment that comes with dropping the top. But another component to that x-factor is music. HARMAN understands the value of being able to bring your beach playlist with you on a summer day—many JBL speakers are wireless and waterproof, made with outdoor activities in mind. In convertibles, HARMAN adapts its audio systems so don’t have to worry about losing sound quality when they lose the roof, after all music makes driving fun cars even more fun.

Convertibles equipped with HARMAN systems are practically synonymous with summer vacations. For example, the Audi R8 Spyder, also known as Iron Man’s two-seater of choice, is remembered from the movie with Robert Downey Junior as Tony Stark speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway. The updated R8 Spyder has a Bang & Olufsen Sound System featuring 13 active loudspeakers, including two in each headrest so owners can blast AC/DC and channel their inner Tony Stark, even at high speeds with the roof retracted.

Acoustically, a convertible presents a challenge to the acoustic engineers, like Greg Sikora, Senior Manager, Head of Acoustic Systems Engineering Europe, for HARMAN who is tasked with tuning it.

“Without a roof, low frequencies, also known as bass, leak out from the cabin, and wind, engine and road noise flows in freely, and we have to accommodate for that,” said Sikora.

To address these difficulties, HARMAN devotes special attention to the convertible versions of cars equipped with our sound systems. Sikora explains HARMAN’s problem-solving process.

“Each automaker wants a customized experience for their drivers that reflect their unique brands and models,” explains Sikora. “HARMAN has the strongest and most diversified brand portfolio in the world that we tap into and then we work with our customers’ engineers to design audio systems – from sound and visual marks to user interface and integration.”

Specific to convertibles, HARMAN accounts for how the audio experience changes once the car is moving. Static tuning is important for red lights and parking lot speeds, but when the wind and engine rushes in at speed music can get washed out. In a clever approach, HARMAN systems automatically boost frequency bands most compromised by wind and engine noise when the car begins to travel faster, so drivers don’t have to reach for the volume knob every time they merge onto the highway.

In cars like the R8, the sound system is optimized for performance with the top down thanks to separate sound profiles for that style of driving.

Sikora attributed some of his team’s progress to ever-increasing computing power: “Thanks to improvements in Digital Signal Processor (DSP) memory and power that have compounded over time, cars can now include more tuning sets and offer more sophisticated noise compensation algorithms. In addition to the wide array of tone profiles available on modern cars, convertibles make adjustments to each when the roof is down.”

Sometimes, HARMAN engineers have to tackle inherent compromises with convertibles. In the case of the Audi A5, the convertible version was robbed of trunk space where the original subwoofer was positioned to make space for the folded roof. To make sure the experience isn’t compromised, HARMAN engineers introduced a new subwoofer design which features two subwoofers in separate locations.

When people think about their summer travels, they want to rev the engine, and blast the perfect soundtrack that makes them sing out loud as they speed down the open road. HARMAN’s attention to detail – on display in the R8 Spyder – powers this perfect scene , made even better when you’re lucky enough to hit the highway with the top down!

For more information: https://www.bang-olufsen.com/en/solutions/automotive/audi/r8-spyder

Harman brought the first infotainment system on the automotive market: MBUX – Mercedes Benz

harman mbux

2019 brought one of the biggest surprises in the automotive domain. More exactly, in everything that means techology integration, AR and car innovation. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Mercedes Benz presented MBUX, the infotainment system that uses augmented reality and it is already part of the new Mercedes Benz A Class.

How many of you ask who stood behind this project? In all these hardworking years that had as a result MBUX, they had a team of 100 romanians. It is all about a part of the Harman “family”, a Samsung company that transforms the everyday driving through the latest technologies.

The work of Harman International team from 3 continents was awarded at the beginning of this year, at 2018 Daimler Supplier Awards, the annual event that recognizes the performance of the giant partners in auto world. Moreover, along with the transition under the brand Samsung, Harman expands the collaboration limits with their clients in the auto world, offering more innovative solutions, which changes the drivers and passengers experience in the entire world.

We wanted to find out what this experience meant for the Harman`s team members. We visited their office and we talked about their feelings now that the product is “live”, how did they work, the challenges they faced but also about the satisfaction when they see the new Mercedes A Class model.

Ionuț Măgureanu, CPM Daimler

What did MBUX mean to you?

It was a challenge. Sometimes it gave me headaches, but it represented the sum of my experience. There were 600 people involved in this project, including 100 from Bucharest.

It was a multicultural environment and it was necessary to unite people from 3 continents, from countries like India, USA, Germany, China, Poland, Ukraine.

What challenges did you face?

Because the Romanian market is volatile, we had to overcome our own limits. Often, even though we felt pressure in the key moments of the project, we learned how to focus on results, without compromising quality. This is how we got to this point, receiving the 2018 Daimler Supplier Award.


Lucian Marinescu, Team Lead Media Daimler

How did the project influence you?

It helped me develop my technical skills, teamwork, but also coordination and organizing. Perseverance was the most important thing in dealing with a lot of tasks.

What was the component you worked for?

I helped developing the media player: playback from USB stick, Bluetooth or Smartphone, streaming, IP Radio – tuning.


Mihaela Călinescu, Team Lead Media Devices

What was your experience with MBUX?

We represent the interface of the integration management media player. It was a challenging project because I started to lead the team when the product was already in launching phase.

Bogdan Barbu, Team Lead Connectivity&Speech

How was the project for you?

It was indeed an interesting project. I needed a calibration period together with my colleagues from India, USA, Germany, Ukraine, but once we have succeeded, the collaboration was a good one till the end.

How did MBUX influence you?

Regarding the technical aspect, I overcame my level and I won visibility În ceea ce privește aspectul tehnic, mi-am depășit nivelul și am câștigat vizibilitate in projects from the countries we work with. Being a multicultural environment, I saw other working methods that proved to be effective. I can’t wait for the car to be displayed in our Showroom so that I can play with what I’ve developed with the team.

Adrian Dobrescu, C++ Developer

What did MBUX mean for you?

It was an extremely interesting project for my career, a project in which I felt that I had a major impact on the technologies.

What was the component you worked for?

I had a little piece from a bigger ensemble: the offboard part which needs connection to the internet – like Siri. You can ask “How is the weather tomorrow”, voice recognition in Cloud, hands-free, microphones.


If you want to be part of our future projects, you can apply for one of our jobs from the following LINK. Do you want to know how it is to work at Harman, what are the benefits and how does the work atmosphere looks like? Read the article from our partners HotNews here.