The “Real-Time Communication between vehicles via the LTE Mobile Network” project jointly launched by Continental, Deutsche Telekom, the Fraunhofer ESK Institute, and Nokia on the A9 motorway in Germany has won the top award in the best-practice competition of the Intelligent Networking Initiative in the “Traffic” category.
Award winners were honoured during Cebit 2016 by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Intelligent Networking Initiative.
The competition winners were decided by a jury of experts in digitisation from the German National IT Summit, the Intelligent Networking Initiative, and the Open Innovation Community. “With the ‘Applications on the A9 Digital Test Track’ project, we are especially delighted to honor a partnership of telecommunication companies, the automotive industry, and research. Broad and transparent dialog is a core element of the Intelligent Networking Initiative, and the project is a real-life example of how cross-industry cooperation is contributing to the success of digitization in Germany,” says Thilo Zelt, head of the Intelligent Networking Initiative.
In this award-winning joint project, vehicles traveling on the digital test track – the A9 Autobahn – share hazard information via the LTE mobile network. This is accomplished by the use of technology, to be defined by the global, 5G communication standard. For the first time, communication takes place virtually in real time because the signal latency between two vehicles is reduced to less than 20 milliseconds through the use of plug-in modules – or “cloudlets” – installed at the LTE base stations.
By pooling their core competencies, the project partners have demonstrated how large-scale, real-time communication between vehicles and infrastructure could look in the future. The LTE mobile technology was developed by Nokia and the network constructed by Deutsche Telekom. Nokia contributed the “cloudlets” using Mobile-Edge Computing technology, which, in combination with the position-locating technology developed by Fraunhofer ESK, ensures rapid data transmission. The vehicle electronics interface developed by Continental allows the implementation of a range of applications, designed to make driving safer and more comfortable.
Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chief technology officer of Deutsche Telekom, comments: “The development of 5G technology has reached an exciting phase globally. We’re not just talking about it – we’re trialing it, too. Our joint project demonstrates how driving can be made much safer. This is all possible thanks to an intelligent infrastructure that adapts itself in line with people’s needs and, in this case, allows an extremely long time in which to react, and helps to prevent hazardous situations.”
Frank Försterling, head of sales and portfolio: interior electronics solutions, in the Interior Division at Continental, adds: “Receiving this award for best-practice solution in the Traffic sector strengthens our resolve to continue developing intelligent mobility of the future. From the point of view of Continental, the internet actually improves the vehicle because real-time communication among road users with other vehicles and the infrastructure enhances safety, comfort, and efficiency on the roads.”
Markus Borchert, senior vice-president: market Europe at Nokia Networks, says: “We are convinced that intelligent mobile network technology can help to ensure that the number of traffic accidents will decrease in the future and that driving will be safer. Mobile Edge Computing as the technological core of our project brings cloud computing to the road, accelerates the communication between drivers and vehicles and provides the blueprint for the development of 5G networks. The success of the project honored with this award strengthens our strong belief that mobile technology is an important element for safe and connected driving.”
Fraunhofer ESK Institute director Professor Dr-Ing Rudi Knorr states: “An important step into the future of digital mobility is the ability to link physical vehicles with the digital data environment, which offers new opportunities and challenges. The next step now is to realize new application scenarios for networked driving thanks to seamless and reliable communication concepts over longer sections of the Autobahn. This award for our project is testament to successful collaboration between companies in the telecommunications, automotive, and IT sectors with the support of applied research conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute.”