ERTICO and AKKA (now Akkodis) have been partners and collaborated on many projects for years. The company’s highly complementary and extensive capabilities in cutting-edge technologies are a useful tool to support clients across all industries, from design to pre-production testing and optimization of production to ultimately become more sustainable and efficient. ERTICO has enjoyed a great collaboration with Akkodis, including many projects in which the two organizations are involved.
As an innovation accelerator for its clients, Akkodis (the trademark under which AKKA and Modis now operate) supports leading industry players in the automotive, aerospace, rail, and life sciences sectors throughout the life cycle of their products with cutting-edge digital technologies (AI, ADAS, IoT, Big Data, robotics, embedded computing, machine learning, etc.). With 50,000 engineers and digital experts, Akkodis delivers expertise in 30 countries. Akkodis is a global leader in the engineering and R&D market that is leveraging the power of connected data to accelerate innovation and digital transformation. This is also the heart of the 5GMETA project: empowering the use of vehicle-generated data.
ERTICO is proud to share some perspectives on the 5GMETA project offered by Akkodis.
What prompted your organisation to join the 5GMETA consortium?
Mobility, as we know, is about to change, and technology-driven ecosystems are emerging in the automotive industry. In the next years, significant disruptions, such as autonomous driving, shared mobility, connectivity, and electrification, will change how the auto industry develops cars and transforms the entire mobility ecosystem. With a strong evolutionary path towards wider employment of 5G, developing 5G solutions will support connected vehicles in communicating with transport infrastructure, leading to less congestion, reduced emissions, and a smoother driving experience.
We are attentive to the urgent needs of manufacturers, a question raised within the main European institutions. Akkodis’ role in 5GMETA is essential in ensuring continuity and quality of services in connected, cooperative, and automated mobility enabled by 5G technologies.
How do the objectives of the 5GMETA project fit in with the priorities and strategies of your company?
5GMETA is set to build on and enhance our expertise, allowing us to contribute to a pioneering project for the automotive sector and, at a larger scale, to the set of actors of the mobility community.
At the beginning of 2022, we announced the creation of the number 2 global player in the smart industry, Akkodis, which is the combination of the companies AKKA and Modis. Since its inception, AKKA’s focus has always been to accelerate innovation for our customers, and in taking this next step with Modis, we have become even better positioned to do so, reinforcing our capabilities as a valuable long-term partner with a worldwide footprint.
Akkodis is a new global Smart Industry powerhouse in engineering and digital solutions able to meet the diverse needs of customers worldwide and seize opportunities generated by the fast-growing Smart Industry market, where IT and engineering technologies converge into a digital and connected world. Akkodis is proud to be part of the 5GMETA project, which allows the Group to leverage on expertise and experience gained in other related EU projects such as AUTOPILOT, 5G-LOGINNOV and 5G-MOBIX to develop more expertise around 5G IoT, and data analytics in the Cooperative and Connected Automated Mobility (CCAM) framework.
Tell us about the role of your company in this project.
Akkodis has participated from the very first day with a core group of partners in elaborating a competitive project proposal, and answering the EC call and its stated challenges. Akkodis now participates in and leads different tasks and work packages. In particular, in the design of the whole 5GMETA architecture, focusing on how best to accommodate the definition and integration of plug-in services.
We also bring our expertise in data management, privacy preservation, security, and software engineering issues to support the smooth deployment of development, integration and production environments for developers. We pursue this goal without forgetting some consultancy actions in the different building blocks of 5G, such as MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing), including MEC use cases, MEC architecture conception and deployment, and compliance with ETSI MEC standards.
What are some of the recent developments you can update us on?
The project is now developing V2 of the 5GMETA Platform, in line with the plans that have been set and revised after the first main iteration of the project. The palette of services and functionalities is now more complete, and we are improving the maturity level of those services that were already present in V1. The validation phase is also being enriched through more mature challenges and more versatile situations developed in the different representative use cases elicited for the project. The methods, tools and supervision services for Continuous Integration and Continuous Development of the code are being improved in both dev/test and production environments. This paves the way for further exploitation of the technical outcomes of the project and their future evolutions.
What are your company’s next steps in the project?
We are developing an enriched dashboard that permits both data producers and data consumers to get a broader view of offers, of accounting issues, history of consumption, conditions of use, technical documentation, etc. Additionally, in order to support the 5GMETA Second Hackathon, we are preparing a fully operational environment featuring data preparation tools (harvesting, storage pre-processing, etc.), service development tools based on jupyter notebooks and continuous integration for the different participating teams.
In parallel, we still invest in the maintenance of the architecture, and we are coordinating the project’s Work Package 4 and the provisioning of developers’ tools for the deployment of the 5GMETA Platform components on a public cloud.
What are your plans to build upon these results for future initiatives?
As an innovative accelerator for its clients, Akkodis consultants must know and master all new technologies relevant to digital transformation and mobility.
The results of the 5GMETA mainly support Akkodis business objective, which is generating innovative 5G solutions and services in CCAM ecosystems. We will use the 5GMETA platform as a cornerstone of our technical and solutions offers towards CCAM actors and Mobility stakeholders as a whole. More precisely, we expect some SaaS (Software as a service) and PaaS (Platform as a service) offers to emerge from the different tasks we undertake in the project, very likely as new collaboration to be defined with other willing partners.
We also want to apply the knowledge we gained in 5GMETA to future research projects to enrich and support the industry’s evolution.
Would you like to add anything more?
We believe the 5GMETA Platform and the other outputs produced by the project represent unique results and opportunities for CCAM actors. The good relationships and collaboration spirit between partners make us optimistic about the future exploitation of the numerous results displayed by the project. Akkodis accompanies its clients in investigating and then applying newest technologies in their business and awareness about 5GMETA has raised in the last months. We expect the consortium to produce first-class results that will allow further developments.
The 5GMETA project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 957360 (Innovation Action).