Good, reliable communication between vehicles also requires genuine collaboration between different manufacturers. This utopia will only become a reality when a Volvo can safely communicate with an Audi, which in turn can communicate with traffic lights three kilometres down the road. There are different methods and different standards for achieving this.
Using mobile networks requires the establishment of communications between various clouds, such as between the automotive industry's different OEMs and different traffic control centres. This is exactly what Anders works with.
"Here we really need to get the industries on board; you can't possibly work alone to create standards. Everyone gains from collaborating on a common standard and we're working hard to develop such a standard, just as we've previously done with the standards for GSM, 3G and 4G."
5G and cloud solutions
The key to communication is cloud solutions. Today, both Volvo Cars and Scania are already using cloud services from Ericsson that can collect data from different vehicles and then share it between them. Moving forward, the cloud will also be able to communicate with buses and trucks, as well as with traffic lights, weather centres and traffic control centres.
"We must, of course, maintain our traditional core business for providers. But we must also take a leading role in 5G and cloud solutions, and that means working with other industries so that together with the providers we can realise the networked society. This is a growth area that we must cultivate and maintain moving forward," says Anders.
"Cloud-based business will greatly benefit all stakeholders in the future. It actually requires very little capital investment, instead you rent the capacity you need, minute-by-minute. Another advantage is that everything is made scalable, and scales itself. This means it doesn't matter if you have 100 cars connected – or 100,000 or 10 million. It grows with the customer's needs – pay as you grow, if you like."
And in Ericsson's case, the business opportunities don't end there. The cloud innovation they are working on is already used in a number of other fields.
"We want to use the scalability advantage in every imaginable industry. Our vision is for every individual and organisation to be able to reach their full potential by means of mobility and the cloud."
"And in the future everything will be networked. Entire cities will be networked. We're already seeing networked industries today. Tuscany, for example, has networked vineyards, and you can monitor the water supply over that network, so that you can track the level of impurities. Connectivity benefits everything, and the technology is basically the same."
Gathered in a small area
It's easy to think of IT and telecommunications as being industries where development can take place anywhere in the world, but Anders sees major advantages in actors from both the telecom and the automotive industries being gathered in a small area.
"Contact between people is still important, particularly when different industries are to work together. I've been involved almost since the beginning when Lindholmen was first established, and the environment that's emerged is amazing."
"I'm really pleased that here in Gothenburg we have, for example, Telematics Valley, Lindholmen Science Park, SAFER, Drive Sweden and several of Sweden's national research and innovation programmes. This enables people to meet and develop trust, which is key to a successful partnership. Understanding and trust are two key components if you are to succeed. And here we have both."