University of Warwick researchers hit new 5G speed record for autonomous vehicles
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Researchers at the University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) have claimed to have set a new 5G communications speed record for a Level 4 low speed autonomous vehicle in the pioneer 28GHz millimetre wave band.

They hit 2.867Gbps in over-the-air transmissions – nearly 40 times faster than current fixed line broadband speeds and equivalent to sending a detailed satellite navigation map of the UK within a single second, or the full contents of a high definition movie in less than 10 seconds.

In addition to enabling the future delivery of HD content to in-car entertainment systems, the researchers say that this technology will allow autonomous vehicles to rapidly share large quantities of data with each other and with traffic management systems. This will include precise 3D road maps created by LiDAR (like radar but it uses laser light instead of radio waves), high definition video images of the vehicles surroundings, and traffic information.

WMG’s research team of Dr Matthew Higgins, associate professor, and Dr Erik Kampert, senior research fellow, used their new 5G mmWave test facility to set the new 5G mmWave band communications speed record. Working with an autonomous Pod built by RDM, a Coventry-based manufacturer of Level 4 low speed autonomous vehicles, the team optimised antenna placement both inside the pod, and on roadside infrastructure, such as a traffic light.

Higgins said: “These controlled trials are critical to better understand the capabilities of 5G in millimetre wave bands, and how infrastructure providers and vehicle manufacturers must carefully plan and deploy their 5G service and application rollout over the next few years. This project, which includes real-world 5G mmWave trials on the University of Warwick’s campus, will also attempt to examine how the dynamics of both the vehicle and the environment affect performance between infrastructure and connected and autonomous vehicles.”

Bob Slorach, CTO of UK based Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG), which provides support to the project, added that: “This is an exciting step towards to the realisation and deployment of future 5G applications, like connected and autonomous vehicles, which will be enabled by fibre connected wireless infrastructure that supports high data rates and ultra-low latency mobile broadband.“

The WMG research project is also supported by National Instruments (NI) and HVM Catapult.

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