Fraunhofer IIS launches 5G testbed for automotive applications
At the beginning of May, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) opened a 5G testbed for applications of the fast mobile technology in automotive environments. The 5G Bavaria Testbed Automotive offers companies a real test environment for 5G mobile radio applications in the field of connected driving. A five-kilometre-long test area in the south of Bavaria is available for this purpose, over which a closed 5G network with several base stations spans. The controlled and reproducible test environment is characterised by a heterogeneous road area that includes urban areas with bridges and subways as well as sections of two- and four-lane trunk roads including the A8 motorway.
“The ‘Automotive’ testbed is specially designed for developers and users who want to test new networking solutions in a real existing road network. The focus is on testing transmission technology and evaluating specific transmission and reception components,” says Martin Speitel, Automotive Group Leader at Fraunhofer IIS. The determination of essential performance parameters such as latency, reliability and throughput provide valuable conclusions about the service quality and user experience of the respective application. In addition to the air interface itself, transmission and reception components can also be tested in prototype status. The influence of (massive) MIMO technologies on the reception quality and data throughput as well as possible driving speeds are also part of potential measurement scenarios. If required, it is also possible to simulate certain test scenarios in advance with the “C-V2XSim” simulation platform in order to test them on the road.
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The range of potential application scenarios that can undergo a reality check in the “Automotive” testbed is large. Connected car scenarios, for example, benefit above all in terms of service quality from the measurements of packet loss rates in the direct application context. New functions brought about by automated driving can be evaluated just as comprehensively on the test routes in Rosenheim as the quality of the data connection between the vehicle and the radio network as well as between the vehicles. Investigations of machine learning approaches for predicting and improving reception quality are also part of the measurement possibilities in the testbed.
The “Automotive” testbed is part of the “5G Bavaria” initiative, which is funded by the Bavarian state government. The aim is to transfer research on the new mobile communications standard 5G into application. Technical feasibility and limits of 5G mobile technology can thus be tested under real conditions at an early stage and the product development process accelerated.