Samsung elected to connected car industry group’s board.

Telefonica has become the latest big operator to jump on board the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA).

The Spanish incumbent made the move last Thursday, the day before Samsung revealed it has been elected to the industry group’s board.

Telefonica joins several telco luminaries at the 5GAA, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom and Vodafone, among others.

"We are delighted to join the 5GAA to bring all our efforts on the 5G technology to the automotive industry. We showcased our recent progress in 5G with our connected car demo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and continue to work in this arena to make things move faster," said Vicente Muñoz, Telefonica’s chief IoT officer, in a statement.

"Telefonica’s expertise and background will greatly benefit the association and its mission to define truly global, end-to-end connected mobility solutions," added Dino Flore, general director of the 5GAA.

The 5GAA was established in late September 2016 by German car makers Audi, BMW and Daimler, as well as telco vendors Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia, and chip makers Intel and Qualcomm.

Its objective is to develop, test and promote communications solutions that will enable a range of connected vehicle services, including driverless cars.

Samsung, which joined the 5GAA in January, revealed last week that Jaeweon Cho, director of 5G technology strategy at Samsung’s next-generation communications business, has been elected to the group’s board.

"This is a serious opportunity for Samsung and our industry partners to leverage the work we’re doing in diverse spaces such as mobile networks, home appliances and chipsets and apply it to the growing connected car industry," Cho said. "I’m really excited to explore the potential opportunities here and help the 5GAA board set its future direction."