EU lawmakers back wifi-based car standard in win for Volkswagen

EU lawmakers back wifi-based car standard in win for Volkswagen

FILE PHOTO: A Volkswagen logo is pictured in a production line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission’s push for a wifi-based standard for cars backed by Volkswagen took a big step forward on Wednesday after EU lawmakers endorsed the move over 5G technology promoted by BMW and Qualcomm.

The EU executive wants to set benchmarks for internet connected cars, a market that could generate billions of euros in revenues for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers, according to analysts.

The issue has split the auto and tech industries and triggered fierce lobbying from both sides seeking a share of a potentially lucrative market for internet-connected cars.

Wifi technology supporters include Renault, Toyota, NXP, Autotalks and Kapsch TrafficCom. The technology primarily connects cars to other cars.

5G backers include big names like Daimler, Ford, PSA Group, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung.

Fifth generation, or 5G, standard hooks up to both cars and devices in the surrounding environment, with a wider range of applications in areas such as entertainment, traffic data and general navigation.

The last hurdle for the plan is the European Council where opponents would require a blocking majority to overturn the proposal.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Jane Merriman

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