The increased proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to evolve and drive the promise of a connected world, from connected factories to connected office spaces to connected vehicles. Connecting vehicles continues to grow rapidly, and generates an enormous volume of data, and when this data is harnessed and analyzed, it presents a remarkable opportunity to make vehicles more efficient and roads safer, but one of the challenges is still limited to network capacity. A possible solution is multi-access edge computing (MEC), which can lower latency, offering massive bandwidth for processing and improves data transmission between vehicles and road infrastructure, reducing lag for critical decision making.

What is Multi-access edge computing and how is it relevant to Connected Vehicles?

Developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), multi-access edge computing (MEC), also known as mobile edge computing, provides cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of the mobile network, which can solve connectivity issues, reducing latency, and increasing efficient network operation and service delivery.

Connected and autonomous vehicles produce a massive amount of data from vehicle sensors and actuators, and if this data can be analyzed in near real-time, the essentials of autonomous vehicles can become a reality, like advanced vehicle safety and response and data security, while also lowering manufacturing costs.

Incorporating MEC into their automotive tech frameworks, automotive manufacturers can now manage this large volume of data right at the end-user data source to improve transportation efficiency, advanced driving experience, and high-level vehicle management capabilities, assisting businesses in effectively managing their fleets. Additionally, MEC has scalability, an increase based on the automotive industry’s need, including more enhanced road condition monitoring and precise brake engagement to improve customer experience and expand vehicle services.

What Can MEC Do for Connected Vehicles?

By increasing speed and reliability, and decreasing latency and connectivity issues, MEC makes use of the connected vehicle’s data, while removing network capacity limitations and improving connected service functionality. The decentralized nature of MEC enables heightened protection by processing information in near real-time.

Additional possibilities of MEC include cloud computing capabilities, allowing developers to build applications for wireless edge devices, such as enhanced battery monitoring and predictive maintenance, further protecting drivers and fleet companies. Allowing service software to decouple from hardware, and providing separated software service deployments makes customizable vehicles possible, providing flexibility in vehicle designs tailored for unique individual drivers.

Where does 5G come in?

5G provides faster network speeds, and high capacity, paired with MEC, resulting in boosting data transmissions and improved network coverage. This near-instantaneous response and data analysis, assisted with cloud-connected traffic management and other applications to realize safer roads.

Businesses with a commercial, autonomous fleet can leverage private MEC infrastructure and continue to stay connected even when traveling outside private area network coverage. Similarly, enterprises with edge-computing connected vehicles can utilize a MEC solution integrated with a private 5G network, allowing for near real-time insights and enhanced decision-making.


As the telecommunications industry builds out 5G and MEC technologies, it is the key to advancing the autonomous and connected car industry. With larger bandwidth, high-speed and low-latency capabilities of MEC to increase advanced vehicle safety and response, and data security to make autonomous vehicles a reality. For fleet enterprises, 5G and MEC can increase customer experience which increases brand loyalty, opening new revenue streams and bringing new efficiencies in transportation innovation.

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