With GPS, digital radio, wi-fi, Bluetooth and the old-fashioned FM radio, a modern car could need as many as 18 antennas dotted around the car.
While some of those will be hidden away internally, what’s left won’t look great on the latest models, but fortunately Harman has a solution in the form of a 5G-ready, multiband antenna.
This combines multiple antennae into one module that can be mounted below a vehicle’s body panels, allowing car makers new possibilities for vehicle design.
“Up until now, car makers have typically employed a ‘shark fin’ antenna in combination with a variety of other antennas distributed around the vehicle but with ever more connected services, it’s no longer viable for designers,” said Harman’s Vishnu Sundaram. “Working with Samsung and several OEM partners, the Harman team has designed a solution that is compact and aesthetically pleasing.”
The new antenna can accommodate future technologies, such as Vehicle to Infrastructure and Electronic Toll Collection, while 5G connectivity will give driver’s the opportunity to stream content to their car, and its occupant’s devices, at unprecedented speed.
“We’re currently evaluating the antennas with several premium car makers to validate the design for each specific vehicle and expect to see the conformal antennas available for model year 2021 vehicles,” added Sundaram.
Currently there are around 30 million connected cars on the world’s roads, but that figure is expected to rise to 220 million as early as 2020.