As the transport industry continues to undergo a digital transformation, 5G will play an increasing role in the future of mobility. Together with European Commission’s DG CONNECT, ERTICO Partners Huawei and Vicomtech, ERTICO considers the opportunities and challenges brought by 5G in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) offerings and how data privacy and security is dealt with as the industry becomes increasingly interconnected.

It is estimated that, as 5G networks are rolled out globally, over 700 million cellular IoT vehicles are forecast to be operational by the end of 2024, with a sizable portion of those destined for the automotive industry. This was one of the central discussions of the Future of Transport Conference in the presence of many representatives from the European Commission and industry leaders including ERTICO’s Partners Vicomtech, Huawei, ACEA, Qualcomm and TNO.

ERTICO was invited, together with Vicomtech and Huawei, to present their latest work on connectivity and automation, focusing on two major European-funded activities that bring out the potential of 5G networks for the automotive industry and beyond.

‘When we look at the investment to be done, also in terms of recovery, two things come to mind, which are also underlined in the Next Generation EU recovery plan: digital and green, and we call is the “twin transition”,’ said Peter Stuckmann, Head of Unit, Future Connectivity Systems, DG CONNECT, adding that ‘inside this digital transformation of transport, we see opportunities for connected and automated mobility.’

5G-MOBIX, coordinated by ERTICO with 55 partners from Europe, Turkey, China and Korea, is developing and testing automated vehicle functionalities globally using 5G core technological innovations. This is happening along multiple cross-border corridors and urban trial sites, under conditions of vehicular traffic, network coverage, service demand, as well as considering the inherently distinct legal, business and social local aspects.

‘5G-MOBIX will examine the implications of 5G and its role in the future of autonomous driving,’ said Coen Bresser, Senior Manager at ERTICO coordinating 5G MOBIX activities. ‘Autonomous mobility is expected to ultimately increase safety on roads and provide secure and important information on road use and monitor and manage the traffic of vehicles carrying people and goods. Several automated mobility use cases are also potential candidates to benefit from 5G, such as cooperative overtake, highway lane merging, truck platooning, valet parking, urban environment driving, road user detection, vehicle remote control, and more, so 5G-MOBIX’ works on bringing opportunities in terms of providing such services at cross-border level using 5G communications,’ he added.

Data privacy and security was addressed by Vicomtech with the 5GMETA project.

‘Cars capture and generate huge volumes of real-time data about driving dynamics, the environment and the driver and passengers’ activities. With connected and automated mobility applications expanding at a fast pace, the value of data from vehicles is vital not only for the automotive industry, but also for new players such as SMEs and high-tech start-ups’, said Oihana Otaegui, 5GMETA coordinator. ‘This is why 5GMETA is working to stimulate and facilitate innovative products and services by expanding 5G network functions whilst ensuring data privacy, security, interoperability and ownership,’ she concluded.

‘It was a pleasure to see the impact of ERTICO activities presented in the conference’ said Johanna Tzanidaki, ERTICO Director of Innovation and Deployment. 5G-MOBIX and 5GMETA were the two projects invited to participate in this high level event. ‘This, as well as the presence of many ERTICO Partners shows the strength of the ERTICO Partnership as the ideal eco-system to make a real contribution to the research, development and deployment of connected and automated driving, where 5G-MOBIX and 5GMETA are two excellent examples’, she concluded.

ERTICO plays a key role in bringing together stakeholders from the public and private sector to advance smart mobility thanks to a set of actions, among which the involvement in European-funded projects such as 5G-MOBIX and 5GMETA. Find out more about ERTICO’s vision for smart mobility and the ERTICO Partnership, and don’t miss out on the weekly smart mobility news!