AutoAir project will provide gbps real-time connectivity and enable accurate location and connectivity trials on site for the first time
Advanced 5G network deployment has begun at Millbrook Proving Ground as part of the AutoAir project, a consortium of 5G testbed partners led by Airspan Networks.
According to Millbrook, as the “UK’s first transport 5G network”, it signals the future of testing and validation of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies.
Over the coming months, Airspan Networks said AutoAir will deliver “pervasive” 4G and 5G connectivity at Millbrook Proving Ground though a dense network of base stations around the test tracks. This will provide gbps real-time connectivity and enable accurate location and connectivity trials on site for the first time.
“The start of this network deployment sends a fantastic message to developers and innovators in the transport and automotive industries. The technology that will enable them to accelerate their programmes is being made available now,” said Peter Stoker, chief engineer, connected and autonomous vehicles at Millbrook.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of these developments; 5G, together with our advanced capabilities as part of the CAV testbed, will make a real difference in expediting thorough and, above all, safe testing and validation.”
Representatives from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, which is part-funding the project, were present during the first, crucial step in the deployment.
“I am thrilled to see such good progress being made on the AutoAir 5G testbed. This fantastic project highlights the opportunities that 5G connectivity on our roads offers, including the potential to support connected and autonomous vehicles,” added Margot James, minister for digital & creative industries.
“We want the UK to be a world leader in 5G and our Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, sets out how we will deliver this.”
Millbrook provides a safe and secure environment for controlled to semi-controlled testing of ADAS and autonomous experiments and a natural, real-world, extension to its customers’ software engineering processes. A digital model of its proving ground is also being made available to vehicle manufacturers and CAV developers to take full advantage of its facilities.
The design phase of the AutoAir project has been completed and attention is now being turned to the physical deployment and implementation of testbeds at Millbrook and the University of Surrey.
“Breaking ground at Millbrook was very exciting, and we can’t wait to test the hyper-dense 5G network we are building with connected and autonomous vehicles,” said Paul Senior, chief strategy officer, Airspan Networks and CEO of Dense Air.
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