5G is expected to significantly advance the performance of autonomous vehicles through real-time connectivity and flexible mobile network services designed to meet automated mobility needs everywhere. With this in mind, the 5G Action Plan for Europe sets the target of deployments along the main transport corridors in all member states, with appropriate 5G coverage for autonomous vehicles, by 2025.
This poses several business and technological challenges, from proving the business case for the telecommunications industry and road infrastructure owners/operators to dealing with roaming, hand-over situations and continuity of automated driving service needs. This is where 5G PPP cross-border projects come into play with a view to ensuring that the EU can use 5G connectivity as a strategic advantage to lead digital transformation.
Overview of trials
5G-MOBIX is developing and testing automated vehicle functionalities using 5G core technological innovations along multiple cross-border corridors and urban trial sites with a focus on vehicular traffic, network coverage and service demand, as well as distinct legal, business and social local aspects. The expected benefits of 5G will be tested during trials on 5G corridors in several EU countries, China and South Korea.
The truck platoon trials focuses on the “see-what-I-see” function and L4 platooning. An edge service is used to multicast video flows and location data from the leading vehicle to the vehicles trailing behind. Additionally, using edge services to process and fuse data from several vehicles serves to offload processing needs in each vehicle, including V2V messaging to coordinate manoeuvres. The truck platoon trails also focus on cross-border operations to ensure continued service provisioning while roaming. These and other trials will allow 5G-MOBIX to conduct impact assessments, including from a business perspective and cost-benefit analysis, especially in sparsely populated cross-border areas with mild market failures of mobile network connectivity.
Trial locations: The truck platoon will take place in the Greece-Turkey 5G corridor, suitable for solving hard border challenges, where the main goal is to ensure truck platooning continuity while easing customs control. Urban trials, three in Europe and one in China, will offer flexibility to test the deployment and integration of novel 5G technologies on an existing infrastructure, using diverse configuration and deployment strategies. The European urban trials will take place in Espoo (Finland), Berlin (Germany) and Helmond Brainport (Netherlands). Worldwide perspectives on deployed technologies and use-case applicability of truck platoons will come from the Chinese urban trial site in Jinan.
Testing is expected to take place in Q2-2020 and Q3-2021.