The AutoAir project, a consortium led by 5G solution provider Airspan Networks, is making advances in enabling autonomous vehicles (AVs) with 5G connectivity at Millbrook test track in the U.K. A live, public demonstration showed a hyper-dense network delivering greater than 1 Gbit/s capacity to a McLaren sports car while travelling at 160 mph.
In addition to the McLaren test, a second demonstration showed real-time video streaming between multiple vehicles (each with four 4K cameras). The video was streamed between a range of different passenger cars, coaches, and emergency vehicles which included police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.
The consortium announced final deployment of a hyper-dense small cell network of 89 base stations operating in the in the 2.3 and 3.4-3.8 GHz mid-band spectrum, including a 22-sector, high-speed mobility 57-71 GHz mmWave highway system, delivering 5 Gbit/s every 300m.
According to press release from AutoAir, these results are fundamental steps towards enabling key 5G use cases for AVs. The AutoAir test bed at Millbrook can also contribute to 5G in other sectors such as rail transportation, says the release.
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The AutoAir project is hosted at Millbrook Proving Ground, a vehicle testing center in Millbrook, Bedfordshire. It is an accelerated development program, according to AutoAir, for 5G technology and is based on small cells that operate on a “Neutral Host” basis. The shared neutral host platform allows multiple public and private mobile operators to simultaneously use the same infrastructure through network slicing, which can radically improve the economics for 5G networks.
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Mark Miller is a contributing writer to SAE International. He has worked as a technology writer and editor for IBM and other advanced information technology firms. His areas of concentration include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, analytics and Internet of Things technologies.