Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer: “The automated and connected driving will fundamentally change our mobility – more secure, more efficient and cleaner. We want to make sure that this will become a reality soon. The comprehensive possibilities of the new mobile radio standard 5G can be tested here – from automated driving in real operation to the use of Artificial Intelligence in order to predict the traffic flow and density. Here, applications can be tested in real time. Projects like 5G-ConnectedMobility show us what will be standard in the future as early as today.”
advanced TrainLab – an innovation laboratory running on rails
After the warm welcome of the Federal Minister as well as Stefan Koetz, chairman of the executive board of Ericsson GmbH, and professor Sabina Jeschke, member of the Management Board for Digitalization and Technology at Deutsche Bahn AG, the project partners demonstrated the 5G technology Network Slicing during the trip with the advanced TrainLab of Deutsche Bahn. The special feature hereby is the splitting of a physical network into different network parts (slices) with different requirements on the transmission. Hence, the experts simulated the critical communication of the European Train Control Systems on a specifically secured network slice, while a data-intensive transmission for entertainment applications challenged the system.
„The fifth generation of mobile communications marks a milestone in the digitalization of railway transport und ensures more capacity and quality”, says professor Sabina Jeschke, member of the Management Board for Digitalization and Technology at Deutsche Bahn AG.
The new 5G technology raises connectivity on rails on a new technological level. In perspective, it realizes radio transmission rates which enable big data analysis, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on a huge scale in rail operations. Thus, data retrieved from sensors on trains and infrastructure plants can be transmitted noticeably faster based on the 5G technology, which leads to a significant increase in capacity on rails and improves the quality of the overall system. The 5G-ConnectedMobility consortium offers the possibility to already introduce the requirements the railway transport needs to be met to the development stage of the new technology.
The probably most modern motorway administration of Germany
The next stop of the minister tour: the motorway administration Greding. Here, the centerpiece of the test field is located – the 5G technology container which connects the mobile base stations along the A9 with the 5G core network hosted by Ericsson Eurolab.
„As early as at the foundation of the 5G-ConnectedMobility consortium, we focused on a cross-industrial collaboration”, explains Stefan Koetz, chairman of the executive board of Ericsson GmbH. “As leading company in the area of 5G development, we have the opportunity to test the newest technological innovations with our partners in a real application environment. Our joint demonstrations include the areas of rail, street and air – this is unique on a global scale.”
And Alexander Saul, Director Enterprise Business Unit of consortia partner Vodafone GmbH, is also stressing the importance of the collaboration: “We have contributed our fiber-optic infrastructure to the 5G test network, thus providing the radio masts, which were sponsored by Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica for the project, with a fast network. Among other things, we are jointly showing that, with 5G, Deutsche Bahn can maneuver trains even more efficiently in the future and provide their passengers with an improved onboard network. All this shows that 5G works best together. With strong partners who massively invest in Germany´s infrastructure and digitalization – whether it´s on rails or in the network, in the ground or in the air.”
Connectivity is an essential part for the aviation industry
Autonomous air taxis, from which the passenger can call, or remote-controlled drones, which monitor an infrastructure via video – there are many potential fields of application for the technology usage Airbus and Ericsson were demonstrating for the first time on a global level: With the help of the Network Slicing technology, different functionalities with different requirements on the mobile network were enabled over one common communication infrastructure. At the demonstration, the drone was connected via mobile radio in a height of 300 meters. Among other things, the functions for the data transmission between the drone and the control center were enabled. These could potentially realize the controlling of the drone or video streaming in the future.
Airbus classifies 5G as very attractive technology for the future of mobility. 5G offers several advantages for the operation of commercial drones and is on its way of becoming a relevant technology for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). UAM is an approach to address emerging traffic problems in various areas (for example in parcel delivery or passenger transport). Together with the 5G-ConnectedMobility consortium, Airbus has successfully tested a critical component, the Network Slicing technology, for the reliable operation.
Future technology in a touring coach
And the drive with the touring coach continued: Deutsche Telekom demonstrated to the minister which advantages 5G entails for positioning applications of vehicles and which network loads are possible at the different driving speeds. In this context professor Frank Fitzek, co-coordinator of the consortia partner 5G Lab Germany, explains: “The 5G Lab Germany is the leading academic research laboratory in Germany when it comes to 5G research and development. Apart from our groundbreaking research in our laboratory, we are doing highly informative trials, together with global innovation drivers of the 5G technology, like for example Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson, in live environments – such as the 5G-ConnectedMobility test field.”
The representative of consortia partner BMW Group is also expressing his enthusiasm: “Today, the consortia project has proven the potential of a stable network coverage with 5G for the traffic of the future”, says Dr. Michael Würtenberger, Head of Research E / E Architectures and Technology, BMW Group. “In 2021, the BMW Group is putting a vehicle, the BMW iNext, on the road which is going to securely and autonomously drive on level 3. For the success of automated driving, we need the 5G technology in addition to environment recognition and highly accurate maps – and we need it not only on motorways, but also on federal highways. That´s why we are hoping for a quick expansion of the infrastructure”, elaborates Würtenberger. “We draw important insights out of the collaborative project, which we directly incorporate into our pre-development activities and which help us, for example, with the elaboration of standards within the scope of the 5GAA consortium. A specific example is the ensuring of a high-level quality when it comes to end-to-end connections in order to guarantee the uninterrupted transmission of video data from the backend to the vehicle, so that our customers can enjoy a high-quality multimedia experience.”
consortium also had its own booth at this year’s Digital Summit in Nuremberg. Visitors were, amongst others, the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer and the members of German parliament Tankred Schipanski and Maik Beermann.
During a total of six test drives with different speeds between 100 and 200 kilometers per hour, the 5G functionality Network Slicing was successfully tested in German rail services for the first time. While on-board entertainment, for example, needs a high data throughput, critical functionalities for the train control and supervision need to be highly fail-safe. In the case of train monitoring, the application for train supervision, a video stream is uploaded to the Edge Cloud application in Greding, which then can be supervised from any location. With Narrowband IoT and CAT M1 (Category M1) devices, services with low requirements on bandwidth as well as with a low energy consumption are realized. The 5G core network, to which the mobile radio sites at the test field are connected and through which the Network Slicing technology is enabled, is operated out of the Eurolab in Aachen, Ericsson’s research and development center in Germany.
It was the 16th time that the Swedish Company Award was given to companies with Swedish origin which succeeded to establish themselves in Germany and, hence, significantly drive Sweden’s reputation as innovation leader beyond national borders. In accordance with the upcoming Hannover Fair 2019, which Sweden is going to host as partner country, the key themes on the agenda of this year’s day program “SMART INDUSTRY CO-LAB – INNOVATE WITH US!” were global trends like Industry 4.0 automation, digitalization, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. Areas in which Ericsson has constantly proven its innovative strength as Per Thöresson, Swedish Ambassador in Berlin, points out:
“Whether by the commitment in the area of Industry 4.0 at Hannover Fair or by the testing of new technologies in the test bed “5G-ConnectedMobility” at the highway A9 – Ericsson constantly proves its future orientation with numerous projects”, stresses Thöresson. “Thereby, the company crucially contributes to positioning Sweden as innovation leader in the area of digitalization and helps filling the German-Swedish innovation partnership with precise content.”
“Ericsson has long done research on use cases of 5G for Industry 4.0”, explains Stefan Koetz, chairman of the executive board of Ericsson GmbH. “Starting off with a cross-industry exchange on IoT, AI and the like within the scope of our work at the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA), all the way to specific, joint collaborations with network operators and industrial companies. All this will also be part of our booth at the Hannover Fair 2019 – so stay tuned.”
One of the research projects that Ericsson informed about in the course of the day’s program was the 5G-ConnectedMobility test bed at the highway A9. Here, Ericsson and its consortia partners have jointly tested 5G use cases for road and rail transport since 2016.
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One advantage of CAT M1 is the effortless connection of moving IoT devices – even when changing the mobile radio cell
By the integration of this innovative technology, 5G-ConnectedMobility enables an early testing of CAT M1 in the area of automotive and rail traffic.
Düsseldorf, July 2nd, 2018. With the deployment of CAT M1 in the live network of the mobility test field 5G-ConnectedMobility, the new IoT mobile broadband technology radios in a live network in Germany for the first time. One advantage of CAT M1, compared to other technologies, is the effortless connection of moving IoT devices – even when changing the mobile radio cell.
“The future of mobility lies in networked vehicles,” Stefan Koetz, chairman of the executive board of Ericsson GmbH, assures. “CAT M1 is a logical next step here because, unlike other IoT technologies, the technology enables a smooth transition from one mobile radio cell to another. That´s what makes it highly relevant in a mobility context.” The new technology has been deployed in the live network of the mobility test field 5G-ConnectedMobility on the A9 for several weeks now. CAT M1 is a technology which only requires a low power consumption and, in contrast to narrowband IoT, also offers voice and handover functions.
Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 95,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Net sales in 2017 were SEK 201.3 billion (EUR 20.9 billion). The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on NASDAQ in New York.
Ericsson has been active in Germany for more than 60 years and employs 1,800 staff at 11 locations. The headquarters is located in Dusseldorf.
Official title of our event was “5G-ConnectedMobility: An example for cross-industrial 5G research and development in Germany” where we presented first results of the activities of the Ericsson coordinated 5G-ConnectedMobility consortium which started collaborative working back in 2016.
5G-ConnectedMobility creates a dedicated network infrastructure and application environment for 5G analysis and testing in real-time for Vehicle-to-vehicle, Vehicle-to-infrastructure, and Railway-to-infrastructure. Founding Members of the “5G-ConnectedMobility” consortium are Ericsson, BMW Group, Deutsche Bahn, the three German mobile network operators with Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone, the TU Dresden 5G Lab Germany, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and the Federal Regulatory Agency (BNetzA).
Ralf Wellens, the new Ericsson Project leader of 5G-ConnectedMobility, was the speaker at the event. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Frank Baberske, our previous Project leader, very much for his coordination of the consortium over the last years. Frank is now supporting the DT Andromeda roll-out project.
In the context of the launch of the cross-industry consortium “5G-ConnectedMobility” intended to strengthen the 5G research and development in Germany, former Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, and the chairman of the executive board of Ericsson GmbH, Stefan Koetz, signed the declaration of intent on the sidelines of the IT-Summit in Saarbrücken. Former Federal Minister Dobrindt thereby stressed that 5G is a key technology for automated and connected driving.
"5G-ConnectedMobility" creates an infrastructure and a real application environment on a "Digital Test Field Motorway", above all to carry out tests in the area of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, digitalization of the railway infrastructure and other applications using 5G technology.
For this purpose, “5G-ConnectedMobility” operates within an independent infrastructure, and is not dependent on any commercial network. This means that 5G prototype applications can be installed and tested regularly, in various network configurations, at any time, without restrictions. The dedicated Ericsson 5G mobile network allows live tests of real time applications, even under extreme network loads, and with very high travel speeds at the same time. Test conditions, which are hardly ever found in commercially operated live networks, can be created. In this context, Ericsson has received permission from the the Federal Regulatory Agency to use frequencies from the 700-MHz band, for the area of Nuremberg-Feucht to Greding, and will act as a network operator.
The test track consists of several construction sections on the “Digital Test Field Motorway” in an area of around 30 km between the junctions of Nuremberg-Feucht and Greding, in which the A9 federal motorway and the high speed train route Nuremberg-Ingolstadt-Munich run in parallel, and are covered by the built up test network at the same time. The infrastructure is already completed in the first partial sections, meaning that live tests can begin immediately.
For the mobile network infrastructure, sites of the Motorway Directorate North Bavaria (ABDN) being the local roads authority, Deutsche Bahn and the mobile network operators - Telefónica Deutschland and Deutsche Telekom are being used. The connection occurs via a glass fibre infrastructure of the local roads authority and Deutsche Bahn. The concentration point of the network is located in an equipment container equipped by Ericsson, which has been installed on the premises of the motorway maintenance agency in Greding. The core network will be operated from Ericsson’s ICT Development Center Eurolab near Aachen, which supervises Ericsson’s “5G for Germany” program amongst other things. The connection to this core network will be carried out via Vodafone’s “Interconnect Access” of the ABDN.
The intention is to discuss the knowledge, perspectives and recommendations gained from this partnership and the technology, services and operating suggestions from the technical work packages of the project in an “Alignment Forum” of the members involved, and further develop them with the focus being on integration into international 5G standardization activities. In this context, the various project participants will draw on their membership in international bodies. Within the scope of "5G-ConnectedMobility" in particular, use cases of associated vehicle applications, for vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, for new methods of traffic information provision in real time and cross manufacturer traffic control for automated vehicles, are currently planned.
The “Digital Test Field Motorway” was set up by the The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, together with the Free State of Bavaria, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Federal Association of Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) on the A9 motorway in Bavaria where the automotive sector, digital economy and research institutions can test out pioneering systems and technologies under real conditions.