Transport lab adopts 5G mmWave facility

| Information and Communication Technology

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NI has collaborated with Warwick University on the introduction of 5G mmWave test facilities for low latency communications development for autonomous vehicles.

The University of Warwick’s WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) has made use of a Catapult award with an upgrade to its laboratory, which includes 5G mmWave technology. The upgrade was performed in collaboration with National Instruments (NI).

The WMG will use the NI mmWave Transceiver System to expand its research from the traditional sub 6 GHz frequencies into the new mmWave spectrum and unlock significantly wider blocks of contiguous bandwidth. More bandwidth means higher data throughputs, which is already beginning to lead to a variety of new applications. WMG’s main interest is researching how mmWave communications can enable connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

CAVs will require 5G technology to be truly successful. Existing LTE systems are lacking for several reasons, most importantly high latency and lack of data throughput. Since Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication needs to be fast in order to be meaningful, latencies above the 1 ms stated goal of 5G will not give the vehicle enough time to react.

Large bandwidths are necessary to send and receive the massive amounts of data potentially sent between sensors, the cloud and other vehicles. Cloud communications are necessary to enable updates to be performed more easily than if all of the processing and sensor hardware was on the vehicle itself. Uploading and downloading data from the cloud enables the processed data to be downloaded by any connected vehicle, reducing the need to upgrade hardware inside the vehicle itself.

WMG’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicles research team is already working with a range of industrial partners on connectivity, verification and validation, and the understanding and optimisation of user/customer interaction with driverless technology. The new facility will further enhance WMG’s vison to be the United Kingdom’s main CAV development platform providing unrivalled research and testing that will accelerate product introduction, infrastructure design and implementation.

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