The first experiments within the framework of the 5G Open Road project, launched at the beginning of the yearthey have already been made. Bouygues Telecom brought together the 17 partners of this project on Thursday November 17, 2022. The objective of this day: for all the actors to meet to take stock, show the first use cases and validate the continuation of operations.
“This is not an R&D project, the goal is to experience real use cases”says Michel Guiga, global coordinator of the 5G open road consortium and VP automotive of Capgemini. One of the first experiments assembled RenaultStellantis, Valeo and Capgemini on one theme: the search for collaborative parking.
Sharing of data collected from vehicles
As part of this experiment, three vehicles are circulating: Renault and Valeo cars are equipped with ultrasonic sensors, which are the ones used for reversing radars, and the Stellantis car with a front camera. “Ultrasonic sensors are very precise but they don’t allow us to know if they are really parking lots and what kind of space,” explains Shagdar Oyunchimeg, head of innovation at Renault Groupe. Conversely, images from a camera are more precise but require more computing power to analyze. Another important point: Ultrasonic sensors are cheaper than other sensors and are already installed in many vehicles.
“The vehicle’s perception module detects four dots representing an empty space, this is transmitted to the vehicle’s in-vehicle communication module and transformed into a standardized CV2X message which is transmitted to Capgemini’s cloud platform”, explains Shagdar Oyunchimeg. The cloud platform developed by the consultancy company aggregates the dynamic data collected and compares it with static data (a map specifying the number of parking spaces) to tell where a space is most likely to be free based on the time slot. “Real time is possible but the duration of a parking is too short”slips Sophie de Lambert, head of research and innovation at Valeo.
The goal here is to test tech bricks, and specifically different sensors to know if it works with simple equipment. But also to standardize the reporting of information from vehicles from different manufacturers. Such a platform could only be marketed if there are enough vehicles on the road.
Above all, this is an opportunity for automakers to actually share the data they collect from their vehicles. “When it comes to technology, it’s successful to agree on end-to-end standards and platformsslips Kadiri El Khamis, head of connected vehicle innovation at Stellantis. Cooperation is required, the whole ecosystem must use the same standards and the coverage must be sufficient to offer a good quality of service.”
The cost and uses of a smart crossbreed
A new intelligent intersection experiment should see the light of day in 2023. First on the track, then in real conditions. The junctions will be equipped with roadside units and a 5G connection (not autonomous with Bouygues Telecom in Vélizy and autonomous with Nokia to Saclay).
The idea behind this design is that sensors transmit information to vehicles that they can’t grasp on their own. For example, tell vehicles the color of the traffic light (which smooths traffic and reduces traffic pollution) or if a pedestrian is crossing (improving safety). “You need to know the cost to set up a crossover and think about the different use cases to see how to distribute this cost and if it’s worth it”, explains Tony Jaux, project manager for the PFA. By conducting the first tests, other use cases can also be found.
Autonomous shuttles Milla to Vélizy
At the same time, two autonomous Milla shuttles run on demand in an area of Vélizy between 7am and 7.30pm. “The experiment started in September 2019 and the feedback is very positive”, assures Frédéric Mathis, president of Milla Group. Nearly a hundred people are transported every day, including the elderly in the afternoon. With 5G, the goal is to increase capacity and the area served. “This implies that the autonomous shuttles go through the tram”, Adds. Connectivity then becomes essential to anticipate the passage of trams.
At CentraleSupélec, it is not autonomous shuttles that transport passengers, but two autonomous Twinswheel robots that deliver the shopping for two weeks. They should soon be joined by two new units. Twinswheel hails the arrival of 5G for its ability to handle large amounts of data. Another promise of this technology is the ability to remotely operate delivery robots in complete safety, which will make it possible to dispense with the security operator.
At this level, the start-up Goggo Network also enters the scene with its agnostic platform for the delivery of goods. The objective is to list all vehicles, regardless of their manufacturer, and their characteristics to determine which vehicle is the most suitable for making a delivery (based on the size and weight of the order, the journey time, the areas crossed , etc.) Within this consortium, several autonomous vehicles are offered for delivery: the Milla shuttle which has a large loading capacity, the Twinswheel vehicles which carry smaller orders and the Valeo unit which is in between the two .
Looking for future experiments
5G Open Road is above all an opportunity for the players in the consortium to discuss the uses and benefits of 5G. It is necessary for them to come together, set standards and share costs. For instance, “partners listed around 70 use cases to evaluate the contribution of 5G in the automobile”says Kadiri El Khamis.
These use cases are prioritized (some are important since they need to help validate algorithms for autonomous vehicles) and prioritized. This requires collective work to know which ones are most relevant in view of the maturity of the technologies. In total, this project has a budget of 90 million euros over three years, of which 35 million comes from the government, to define the business models that can be drawn from 5G.
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