NEC Claims New Adaptive Network Control Technology for Self-Driving Cars

8 February 2018
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NEC Claims New Adaptive Network Control Technology for Self-Driving Cars Image Credit: NEC

NEC claims that it has developed an adaptive network control technology for controlling networks that prioritizes certain urgent communication terminals used in use cases such as self-driving automobiles, automated guided vehicles (AGV) at factories and drones for deliveries.

The technology enables immediate assignment of bandwidth and communication time (radio resources) to these terminals, rather than their less urgent counterparts. It allows automobiles to share information about their surroundings in real-time in order to avoid collisions and ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles, even in unstable communication environments featuring numerous vehicles and communication terminals.

In terms of self-driving automobiles, guidelines established by the 3GPP require that at least 95% of communications reach their destination within 100 milliseconds. In a mobile network, however, as the number of communication terminals that are connected to a radio base station increases, the communication delay for each terminal also increases.

Moreover, communication delays may differ from terminal to terminal and may fluctuate every second. As a result, it has been nearly impossible to consistently reduce communications delays to below 100 milliseconds while in busy areas, such as major intersections.

NEC claims that this technology has been tested in a simulated traffic environment where 100 automobiles and 100 pedestrians were using a variety of communication terminals, such as smartphones, while connected to an LTE radio base station.

This testing verified that an automobile's communication delay could be shortened to 100 milliseconds or less and the rate of successful communication could reach 95%. This represents an improvement of more than five times over the conventional Proportional Fairness method of communications.

Yuichi Nakamura, GM, NEC System Platform Research Laboratories
We will continue our efforts to verify and commercialize this technology as we aim to see it applied to social systems in many different areas, such as self-driving automobiles, AGVs at factories, and drones for deliveries.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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