Next week, at the Spain-Portugal border, the ERTICO-led 5G-MOBIX project will present its results from 47 months of research and innovation activities on the use of 5G in cross-border situations, focusing particularly on Connected and Automated Driving (CAM). For close to four years, a consortium of 58 beneficiaries, funded by the European Commission, in 13 countries in Europe and nine international partners in China and Korea, have been unified in their effort to prepare the way for 5G deployment in potential ‘risk’ areas – both technologically and financially. The consortium hopes its results will live on beyond the project’s life and create a lasting impact for real-life deployment of 5G across Europe’s borders and beyond.
Before the project closes officially on 30th September, 5G-MOBIX will hold its final event on 13-14 September at the CTAG facilities in Porriño, with presentations and test tracks demos, and at the two International Bridges, Tui-Valença. The closed track-demonstrations with autonomous vehicles will trial lane merge, overtaking and HD-Maps. On the Old Bridge, the CTAG’s autonomous shuttle will demonstrate remote driving and cooperative automated across the Spain Portugal border, while a connectivity demonstration of lane merge and HD-Maps data flows will be held on the New Bridge by IT and A-to-Be.
COLLABORATING FOR SUCCESS
The contribution of all the project partners is reflected in the final outcome of the project, including the results that will be showcased next week. At the event itself, the Spanish and Portuguese will be directly in the spotlight. CTAG will host the event and coordinate the connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and infrastructure devices in the demos; Telefónica and NOS represent the Spanish and Portuguese Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), respectively; NOKIA ES & NOKIA PT are responsible for the Network Infrastructure on the Spanish and Portuguese sides, respectively; Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) and A-to-Be are responsible for the connected vehicle in the demo in the New Bridge; DGT, Infraestruturas de Portugal, IMT, Norte Litoral are in charge of road management, closures and securing authorization to carry out the demos; ALSA buses will be on hand for transfers during the event.
Amidst the final preparations, we caught up with the leaders of the Spain-Portugal cross-border trial site – CTAG and Instituto de Telecomunicações – for their perspective on the results achieved and outlook for the future.
What is the main result that you are proudest of?
CTAG: We are very pleased to have achieved the direct interconnection of Telefónica and NOS Non-Standalone (NSA) networks through distributed cores to enable the deployment of CAM functions in the cross-border area with seamless connectivity.
IT: CAM service continuity in a cross-border MEC (Multi-access edge computing) federation scenario is definitely a great achievement. It has been very satisfying to be able to provide mobility solutions in multi-PLMN (public land mobile network) handover situations with several MNOs across different countries.
What, in your view, was the main contributing factor for your success?
CTAG: 5G-MOBIX had a rich consortium of partners with wide expertise both in the development of CAM functions and knowledge of 5G networks. Close collaboration among all the partners was key to delivering good results.
IT: International cooperation was essential for system development and testing through the exchange of ideas, progress and experiences, as well as the partnership and involvement of MNOs and network vendors in the project.
What are some lessons learnt? If you had to do something differently, what would it be?
CTAG: Network technology must advance and evolve in close alignment with the equipment that will be used in both vehicle and infrastructure. This is a process in which all stakeholders must be deeply involved, allowing these still-developing technologies to evolve more quickly and efficiently. For sure, we will have more to say on this after the final event.
IT: 5G is a still an ‘emerging’ technology whose development is under progress. Network equipment is being released gradually with new features added incrementally. This aspect should have been better taken into account in the planning of the system development.
How much of a role did the pandemic play in affecting your work?
CTAG: As is to be expected, the pandemic caused major disruptions in our work plan. The provision of 5G modems was delayed, staff being on sickness leave resulted in delays in the development and integration of some features, and there was also no possibility to test during the period of strict closure.
IT: These were also the major we faced. The pandemic significantly delayed the availability of system components, such as 5G modules, as well as the deployment, system integration and testing. The trialling phases of the project were negatively impacted too.
What main message or impression would you like to leave with the public and/or to European Commission regarding the 5G-MOBIX project results?
CTAG: We would really like to highlight that the project demonstrated how short interruption times in an inter-PLMN environment allow the deployment of a wide set of CAM functions.
IT: Despite some necessary improvements, CAM service continuity will be made possible by 5G and beyond networks, exploiting some valuable features, such as MEC and network slicing.
Do you think what you have achieved will leave a lasting legacy? How or why?
CTAG: Yes. We have been pioneers in deploying many CAM functions using 5G in cross-border environments, with our efforts running parallel to the development of the 5G technology and keeping up with the latest advancements.
IT: Yes. What we have achieved on the ES-PT cross-border corridor trial site will contribute to the roll-out of multi-PLMN handover solutions across MNO networks as they look to support demanding CCAM services with strict latency and reliability requirements.
What can we quote you on?
CTAG: 5G enhances connected and automated mobility in cross-border areas by achieving timely, continuous and seamless connectivity.
IT: In the future, cross-border mobility of goods and people will be seamless, intelligent and efficient, by relying on 5G connectivity and cooperation among traffic agents for the full deployment of autonomous driving systems.
Read more about the trial and results at the Spain-Portugal cross-border site in the published article “Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility Service Continuity in a Cross-Border Multi-Access Edge Computing Federation Scenario”.
Register here to attend the event in September.
Visit the 5G-MOBIX website to access the full programme.
In case of any questions, contact: email@example.com
5G-MOBIX has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 825496.