martti driverless car

Driverless cars fitted with 5G to send warnings to other drivers

Image credit: vtt

Driverless cars equipped with 5G are being used to send data about their local environments to other vehicles in order to give them forewarning of changing road conditions and blockages.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland teamed up with Nokia to connect VTT’s robot car, Martti, to a 5G network, which allows the car to detect objects with improved range and share its observations with other vehicles.

This also takes Martti a step closer to highly automated driving. The safety of road users also improves as new solutions and services based on 5G technology become more widely available.

“One of the solutions being tested now in the project is Nokia 5G connectivity in Martti, which allows the car to send its observations to a server for analysis across a low-latency 5G link. The data can be used to adapt the car’s behaviour according to actual road weather conditions”, said Matti Kutila from VTT’s RobotCar Crew team.

“The new 5G link is an important step towards the future development and testing of vehicle services using 5G devices, which are expected to become commercially available during 2019. The main benefit is the broadband uplink which enables collection of data from multiple cars to a cloud service”, said Tiia Ojanperä, leader of the 5G-Safe project, which looks at new opportunities created by 5G technology.

The new 5G services developed in the project relate to road weather services, road maintenance, automated driving and fast inter-vehicle transmission of 3D views.

VTT is using its new vehicle network solutions, the local road weather and road safety-related services they enable to support drivers, road maintenance providers and the systems used to control autonomous vehicles.

They require no inputs from motorists while driving, as data can be gathered and warnings sent to users automatically.

At the end of 2017, South Korea built a prototype 5G network in a fake town designed to allow testing of driverless vehicles. 

Qualcomm has been developing a platform which allows cars to connect not just to other cars, but to pedestrians and infrastructure such as traffic lights as well. 

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