With connected vehicles being a focal point for most automakers these days, Geely has announced efforts to enhance its existing 4G LTE network services while developing its 5G New Radio (5G NR) solutions for the future.

The company revealed at the recent Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit that all its models released in 2018 are equipped with 4G LTE connectivity based on cellular products developed by Qualcomm Technologies, with over one million connected vehicles currently on the road.

According to Shen Zi Yu, vice president of Geely Automobile Research Institute, all Geely models will make the shift to 5G NR networks by 2021. As Qualcomm explains, 5G NR is the global standard for 5G wireless technology that is capable of delivering a faster, more efficient and scalable network.

The standard will also allow cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X or LTE-V2X) systems to have expanded functionality, and Geely is working closely with Qualcomm to ensure current LTE-V2X systems are forward compatible when 5G NR goes mainstream. Developments made in the LTE-V2X space will help improve not only road safety and traffic efficiency, but also support automated driving with cellular direct communications technology that support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.

“It is important that our customers have access to the best and fastest network services in the market. This is why Geely Auto will continue to improve its existing 4G LTE applications, while at the same time start to work on the future of connectivity, which is 5G NR,” said Shen.

“We are officially taking the next step towards a new era of human travel through intelligent electric travel and network sharing services. This will put us at the forefront of not just being a car maker, but also as a provider of cutting-edge technologies,” he added.

Geely’s new Smart Ecosystem (GKUI), which is present in the upcoming Proton X70, will also receive its share of improvements. The system developed by ECARX features five core components – a cloud data system, a launcher, an ID, an app ecosystem and an artificial intelligence engine – which tie into a user’s mobile phone, car or home via wireless networks.

“Over 600,000 Geely Auto car models have been equipped with GKUI to date. This includes Banting, a music app that provides over 14 million copyrighted songs and have just exceeded 45 million total number of plays in September alone,” Shen stated.

“Besides that, a version of AMAP (a Chinese navigation service) that is customised for infotainment head units in cars have garnered a large population of daily active users, half of whom are GKUI users. There are also more than 1,200 kinds of smart home devices that are readily connected to GKUI,” he explained further.

Moving forward, GKUI will gain an improved in-car smart voice assistant that employs a natural language understanding (NLU) mechanism, which allows for multi-turn conversations, interruptions and can even adopt a self-learning process. These update, among others, will arrive via over-the-air updates.

“We look forward to feature Qualcomm Technologies solutions in providing our users with premium experiences when it comes to connectivity and safety, as well as improved traffic efficiency. Being leaders in our respective fields, we believe that combining our talents and resources should yield on overall positive outcome for our users”, concluded Shen.