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Have you noticed whenever someone has to present the idea of a car from the future, they do so with a model that barely looks like a car. The Frinkasonic MHV from The Simpsons, pictured above, for instance, was more of a spaceship. Thankfully as we inch closer to autonomous and connected cars, carmakers aren’t too far from using designs that don’t just follow higher standards of safety but also equip all the tech involved without making it look like an egg on wheels. What all tech, you may ask. For instance, looking at the current research, a 5G-ready connected car could require up to 18 antennae to function properly. Eighteen! But to ensure that the future doesn’t look like a satellite receiver set on motion, HARMAN has found a solution.

Keeping the predictions in mind, Harman has announced its new antenna module, which not only combines the use of multiple units into one, but can also be fitted below an automobile’s body panels. This will remove what would have otherwise been a huge obstruction to adoption of clean design, apart from the technological benefits the module brings. The 5G-ready module boasts connectivity suites like WiFi, Bluetooth, radio, and even Vehicle to Infrastructure, Electronic Toll Collection, and Remote Keyless Entry.

Harman Connected Car’s VP for Telematics Business, Vishnu Sundaram said, “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. Working with Samsung and several OEM partners, the HARMAN team has designed a solution that is compact and aesthetically pleasing. 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.”

Read more: An insight into Vehicle-to-X communication