Telefónica and SEAT, a Spanish automobile manufacturer recently demonstrated connected car and 5G assisted driving use cases in a real environment at the streets of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in Barcelona.
Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies also participated, by equipping both vehicles and their surrounding elements with technology that enables them to exchange information with the main objective of increasing road safety. The project is framed within the 5G Barcelona initiative, aimed at consolidating the city of Barcelona as the reference 5G hub in Europe.
The two technologies bringing these use cases to life are C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) and C-V2X technology offers assisted driving by allowing the vehicle to communicate with all the elements around it (cars, traffic lights, traffic signals, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles...). In addition, for the cars to be able to "talk" to the city, latency needs to be minimal and, therefore, it is necessary to deploy 5G capabilities into the current network, specifically the Edge Computing server, a large distributed brain, hosting content and applications very close to where the user is consuming them.
SEAT contributed with two vehicles, Ateca and Arona models, equipped with the latest technology in connectivity and instrument panels that issue warnings to the driver. Telefónica provides the end-to-end connectivity and, as a novelty, is opening-up its network so third parties can deploy applications at the edge of the network, such as traffic management for this use case. Ficosa has developed and produced the in-car C-V2X communications platform that allows the transmission of information from the car to any entity that might impact the vehicle, and vice versa; i2CAT, in charge of the development of the ultra-precise location solution for bicycles; ETRA, supplier of the road infrastructure that provided connectivity with the traffic light system, and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, representing 5G Barcelona, the global supervisor of the project, also offering management support.Ericsson has provided 5G technology and Qualcomm Technologies the 5G connectivity platform both for the network communication and for the direct communication.