Volvo and Ericsson developing media streaming networks

Forward-thinking Swedish manufacturer Volvo is working with technology partner Ericsson to develop systems that can provide stutter-free high-definition media streaming for use in self-driving fully autonomous cars.

The company reasons that, as autonomous cars become the norm, occupants will demand more involving in-car entertainment, and this includes being able to stream their favourite movies and TV shows while on the move.

This places demands on the network infrastructure along the car’s route, and this has inspired Volvo to work with Ericsson – an expert in the field of mobile communications – to optimise the experience.

With Ericsson predicting that 70% of all mobile data traffic will be video over the coming years, the two companies have been working to produce algorithms that can predict your route, the likely network conditions, and tailor content to suit your journey.

This may include, for example, caching – or buffering – content that will be needed later in the journey where signal reception is poor.

In addition, the system will be able to suggest suitable content to watch based on the length of time the vehicle will be driving autonomously – there’s little point starting to watch your favourite Hollywood blockbuster if you only have 30 minutes to watch it in, for instance.

Taking this further, it may be possible to optimise the route so that its duration coincides with the content you wish to watch.

“With autonomous drive it is no longer just a question of getting from A to B quickly – it’s about the experience you wish to have in the car, how you wish to spend the time you are saving,” commented Anders Tylman, General Manager Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center.

The partnership follows on from the unveiling of Volvo’s Concept 26, the company’s vision for the vehicle cabin of the autonomous future.