Nokia and KDDI say they have successfully demonstrated the use of LTE broadcast technology in Japan to provide cost-efficient, low-latency connectivity for vehicles.
Nokia claims the trials are the first in the world to use LTE broadcast, implementing the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) standard in two connected car applications, and demonstrating the potential of cellular technology to enable fully automated driving in the future.
Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology is designed to connect vehicles to each other, to communications network infrastructure, and to roadside sensors, including connectivity to traffic lights, radar and other functions. For the proof-of-concept trials in Japan, Nokia and KDDI focused on vehicle-to-network use cases and used non-integrated systems in cars interacting with sensors via Nokia’s multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform, which the company says enables significantly reduced network latency.
The eMBMS hotspot solution allows data to be sent once to many users simultaneously. In the context of the connected-car trial, it enabled real-time information to be shared with multiple vehicles. The companies compared the efficiency of using LTE broadcast to the one-to-one communication enabled by LTE unicast, in two connected-car applications:
- Vehicle-to-network-to-vehicle (V2N2V) – in which cars maintained constant contact with the MEC system, sending real-time location, direction and speed data to roadside sensors. In an emergency situation, the driver can alert the application, with information distributed to other vehicles using eMBMS.
- Network real-time kinematic (network RTK) – in which it was demonstrated how eMBMS could more cost-efficiently use existing geo-location systems to communicate to many vehicles in real-time and ensure accurate navigation.
The trials were conducted by Nokia and KDDI at a rural location in Hokkaido.
Mr. Munefumi Tsurusawa, Ph.D, General Manager, Connected Vehicle Technology Department, Technical Planning Division at KDDI Corporation, said: “We are pleased to work with Nokia to demonstrate our leadership in the delivery of mobile networks for IoT and connected car communications. This is an important trial showing how the automotive industry can leverage cellular technology to enhance safety of connect vehicles on the roads.”
Uwe Puetzschler, head of Car2X at Nokia, said that while manual intervention was used in the proof-of-concept trials, 5G would enable operators to support the widespread adoption of automated vehicles.