Samsung completes 5G remote hillclimb at Goodwood 2019

Published: 06 July 2019

► Using Vodafone's 5G network 
► An improtant proof of concept – no, really
 Vaughn Gittin Jr at the wheel

Autonomous capability may be the ultimate future of cars, but until now, getting there has been a relatively ambiguous journey. However, at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Samsung has demonstrated the capability of 5G – and it represents a key landmark on the way to intelligent cars.

What did Samsung actually do? 

Samsung completed the world’s first ‘remote-control hillclimb’ and did it over a standard Vodafone 5G network – just like the one that just rolled out days ago in parts of the UK. 

Drift car champion Vaughn Gittin Jr,. remotely piloted a modified Lilncoln up the hill using a VR set-up in the Goodwood Future lab. Samsung equipped him with a a VR set-up complete with a live camera feed from the car, and a racing wheel and pedals to control its movements.  The car meanwhile, was in a completely different part of the Festival.

After the successful, but tentative hill climb, he also spent some time drifting – although these weren’t quite xtthe epic drifts you’d usually see Gittin Jr pull off. 

Why Goodwood?

As autonomous and connected cars draw closer, it’s become clear that a high-speed, failure-proof network will be needed to allow them to communicate with the cloud, and with each other. The same low-latency high-speed network that allows Gittin Jr’s antics at Goodwood, will be exactly what’s needed to do that. 

‘This proof of concept is a great stepping stone towards remote presence use-case using 5G and the Goodwood FOS was the perfect testing ground,’  said Yoon Lee, senior vice president of product innovation at Samsung America. ‘We are thrilled to lead future consumer experience in 5G by pushing the boundaries of our 5G product portfolio and technologies.'

Of course, there are still questions around 5G that need answering – especially in the context of the automotive industry. Because the transmitters are the size of microwave ovens, Samsung expects the UK to be 90% 5G-capable by 2020 – but what will happen a car enters that remaining 10%? And what will happen if there happens to be an area of patchy reception, just like we already encounter with existing 4G and even 3G networks? 

These are all questions that’ll need to be answered by tech giants and car companies alike in the coming years. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast