A Hybrid Satellite-Cellular Communications Terminal for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Two distinct models for the architecture of autonomous vehicles have emerged. One is for a self-contained, mostly unconnected car, with all sensors and crucial systems onboard that only exchanges data with the internet when necessary. The other model represents an always-connected vehicle that relies heavily on the computing power and real-time driving experience of other vehicles provided by the cloud. It’s likely that most AVs will fall somewhere between these two extremes, and the decision about the degree of reliance on the internet will be influenced by such considerations as safety, security, and cost. However, there is no doubt that all AVs will be powerful computer systems. In a future with connected vehicles, the data traffic will be vast, and new network infrastructures and computing architectures will be needed for processing and storage. To achieve fully-global and high-throughput coverage, Kymeta, thus proposes a hybrid connectivity solution whereby fixed terrestrial networks are supplemented with high-throughput satellite access technologies. This white paper demonstrates the implementation and testing of a hybrid satellite-cellular terminal for connected and autonomous vehicles.
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