An autonomous vehicle testing site in the UK will be equipped with 5G connectivity to enable tests of vehicle communication in a real world environment.
Telecommunications provider O2 has signed a deal to provide 5G technology to the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London, the world’s most advanced urban testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). The testbed, which is supported by the UK government, will employ O2’s 5G network capability to facilitate the testing of vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to road (V2X) communications by public and private stakeholders including vehicle manufacturers, technology developers and startups.
O2’s Chief Technology Officer Brendan O’Reilly said: “At O2 we’re determined to help businesses of all sizes realise the potential of fifth generation mobile technology. We know that the transport sector is going to be one of the key beneficiaries of 5G; and that the technology has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, as well as making journeys safer and more enjoyable. That’s why we’re excited to be working with the teams at the Smart Mobility Living Lab, who are driving forward our understanding how this next generation technology will fundamentally change the fabric of the cities in which we live and work as well as creating entirely new methods of travel.”
Paul Campion, CEO of transport innovation centre TRL, said: “5G is a technology that supports a successful rollout of self-driving cars in the UK. Smart Mobility Living Lab research shows that over a third of industry leaders from the transport, technology and automotive industries think investment in strengthening the UK’s digital infrastructure is a key step for making self-driving cars commercially available in the UK. By working with industry leader O2, we are ensuring that SMLL is not just a real world testing environment for self-driving cars today; we are futureproofing the testbed so that we can accelerate our customers’ research and development programmes.”