Telefónica, Dekra open 5G connected driving test centre
Telefónica is testing future 5G applications in the more than 50,000 square metre site; Dekra intends to develop test technologies for its test tracks there, where they will then be available to the automotive and mobility industry for broad-based trials. For the most comprehensive simulation of applications and real traffic conditions, variously designed roads, crossings, unpaved surfaces, beacons, roundabouts and tunnels are available on site. The entire road infrastructure is equipped with sensors that enable mobile communication with the vehicles used. Furthermore, additional real and digitally simulated vehicles are used. During the joint presentation by Telefónica and Dekra, for example, a test vehicle detected various obstacles within fractions of a second and automatically recognised other road users on the road.
In future, Telefónica and Dekra will focus their research on connectivity solutions, new services for on-board entertainment and vehicle navigation as well as improved vehicle monitoring and maintenance. Other areas of research include safety and accident prevention, driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.
In the research environment, which is unique in Europe, interested companies can test the compatibility of their components and mobile communications devices, utilizing different frequency bands. In this way, they can ensure that their mobility solutions function in markets with different regulations over the available frequency bands. This also brings the project partners one step closer to cross-national networked and autonomous driving.
The test lab is equipped with two 5G antennas, high-performance servers and a comprehensive camera system to test the connectivity of on-board and geolocation services, process large amounts of data and optimize software and vehicle monitoring services (management CPD).
The 5G research and development site was equipped with network technology in cooperation with supplier Ericsson. It is open to both automotive companies and manufacturers of vehicle components, equipment and road infrastructure to further promote connected driving in Europe. In recent weeks, for example, the international 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) together with other providers have tested the interoperability of various C-V2X solutions and devices in a so-called C-V2X PlugTest.
Among other things, these developments are intended to increase traffic safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. federal agency for road and vehicle safety, the use of V2X technologies in road traffic can prevent up to 600,000 traffic accidents per year. The technology communicates in the vehicle via mobile radio with other vehicles, trucks, cyclists or pedestrians and with the road infrastructure such as traffic lights, traffic signs or barriers. If obstacles suddenly appear, the car not only warns the occupants, but also initiates its own measures in real time. At the same time, networked driving provides a better driving experience and more comfort through new information and entertainment systems. Modern V2X technologies can also make a contribution to the environment, since fuel consumption and driving behavior can be analyzed even more precisely.