On one hand, John Avery believes transportation stands on the cusp of dramatic transformation.
Enhanced by 5G networks, more machines can communicate with each other. Higher bandwidth and lower latency will enhance automated operations. Artificial intelligence can be dispersed both in the cloud and in edge computing.
"Before 5G, those things just weren't possible," said Avery, director of the Advanced Technology Development Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Now, with the bandwidth and latencies that 5G allows, the doors have opened for these new ways of thinking about what mobile networks can enable. I really think it's going to be a whole greenfield of innovations."
On the other hand, he sees a big barrier. Businesses that could usher in this next era had scant opportunities to actually test innovations utilizing 5G technology. So that's what Avery and others have sought to provide.