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Testing facility for self-driving vehicles opens in China

China has opened its first testing facility for connected and self-driving vehicles, a step for the country to position itself as a leader in the autonomous driving car race.

China’s 2025 roadmap has made connected and self-driving vehicles a key priority. As a step in that direction, China has now opened its first national test site for intelligent connected cars in Shanghai. Going under the name ”The National Intelligent Connected Vehicle Testing Demonstration Base”, the facility aims to facilitate research and development, standards studies and policy formulation, as well as testing and certifying connected vehicle technology in China. By the end of the year, up to 1,000 cars are expected to have been tested at the facility, the Shanghai Daily reports.

To start with, test cars will be able to go through 29 different testing programs that stimulate complex driving scenarios, ranging from vehicle collision alert to brake alert and pedestrian crossing alert. By the end of 2017, the number of testing programs is expected to reach 100. In the meantime, the facility will grow in size, from 5 square kilometers today to 27 square kilometers in September and 100 square kilometers in three to five years, the China Daily reports. “The development of intelligent connected vehicles in the United States, Europe and Japan is mainly pushed by their governments. The Chinese government will set up a good environment for the development and rapid application of intelligent connected vehicles,” said Rong Wenwei, general manager of Shanghai International Automobile City, which developed the testing facility.

The centre organized its inaugural self-driving car demonstration last week, with 25 self-driving vehicles including Ford Transit, Chang’an CS75, Volvo XC90, Cadillac ATS-L, Roewe e50, Volkswagen Golf and Range Rover Evoque driving in the 5 square kilometer area.

This new self-driving research and development initiative is set to culminate with the launch of a real demonstration city in Shanghai by 2020. At that stage, 10,000 self-driving cars are expected to have been tested on 500-kilometer long roads. Prior to that, a first testing phase will be conducted in the Jiading Auto Expo Park and Tongji University Jiading Campus, followed by open road testing and finally an extension of the experimental area from 2018 to the end of 2019 which will see the deployment of 5,000 self-driving vehicles in the 100 square kilometer area including highways.

As part of the facility’s launch, General Motors (GM) demonstrated for the first time in China the latest version of its V2X connected vehicle technology, including intersection collision alert and emergency brake alert. The automaker expects to bring its vehicle to vehicle (V2V) technology to the US market in the 2017 Cadillac CTS using a dedicated short range communication spectrum. ”We are pleased to bring our latest global achievements in V2X technology to China. The newly opened Demo Base provides an excellent location to carry on our research on intelligent and connected vehicles in China,” said Dr. John Du, director of the GM China Science Lab. V2X includes vehicle to vehicle (V2V), vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle to pedestrian (V2P) technology.

Shanghai’s test demonstration centre will experiment with two mainstream V2X communication technologies, DSRC and LTE-V, the latter being favored by China. A roadmap for intelligent connected cars is set to be released next month.

China poised to become largest self-driving vehicles market

The driving situation in China is complicated. If an autonomous car can survive here, it will surely do well in the US but not necessarily the other way around. It is a challenge as well as an advantage to come up with better products,” said Rong Wenwei, general manager of Shanghai International Automobile City, which oversees the test zone. “In Jiading, we want to build an open platform for all industry players to carry out their own tests.”

As Rong Wenwei points out, if a self-driving car can handle complicated car traffic situations in China, it stands a good chance to do well in other markets with less complicated traffic situations. This, together with the size of the Chinese automotive market, could well give China an edge in the nascent self-driving car market. According to analyst firm IHS, global sales of autonomous vehicles are expected to reach 21 million by 2035. While the United States are expected to lead the way in terms of early adoption, China, with 5.7 million self-driving vehicles sold by 2035, is set to become the world’s largest self-driving vehicles market. ”The sheer volume of vehicles expected to be sold there as well as consumer demand for new technologies will drive growth, with more upside possible as regulators assess the potential of autonomous mobility to address safety and environmental concerns,” said analyst firm IHS. In comparison, sales of self-driving vehicles will reach 4.5 million in the U.S. and 3 million in Western Europe in 2035.

IIoT News Recap: Docomo and Ericsson complete dynamic 5G network slicing; Géant and Corsa demonstrate multi-layer SDN controlled network at scale; Gaia Smart Cities acquires Netcore’s IoT arm; Fujitsu and Cratus to jointly develop wireless sensor-based products; Today’s forecast: Global revenues from IoT data

self-driving vehicles

5G: Docomo and Ericsson complete milestone proof of concept of dynamic 5G network slicing

Japanese operator NTT Docomo and Sweden-based vendor Ericsson announced they have successfully completed  a joint proof of concept of 5G network slicing technology. Ericsson developed technologies to perform network slice lifecycle and service management while Docomo designed the network slice creation and selection functions. “Network slicing has the potential to simultaneously deliver diverse cutting-edge 5G services, for enhanced entertainment as well as further effective and secure communication. We expect the results of our PoC with Ericsson will play an important role in the realization of highly efficient and secure 5G networking technologies,” said Hiroshi Nakamura, senior vice president and general manager of R&D Strategy Department at NTT Docomo, in a statement. NTT Docomo has been working on the development of network slicing technology with Ericsson since September 2014.

SDN: Géant and Corsa demonstrate multi-layer SDN controlled network at scale

SDN networking company Corsa and pan-European research and education network Géant have demonstrated the possibility of handling traffic at different layers, including an SDN Layer 3 domain that also routes traffic to the general Internet. Géant was able to demonstrate an at-scale multi-layer SDN controlled network using Corsa’s new open programmable switching and routing platform, the DP2000 series. “The ongoing challenge for GÉANT and Europe’s NRENs is to continue delivering vital production network services to over 50 million users, whilst pushing the envelope in terms of network evolution to continually increase both the value and capability of the network,” said Géant CEO Steve Cotter. “Innovations such as this are absolutely key to achieving that challenge.” 

Smart city: Gaia Smart Cities acquires Netcore’s IoT arm

Internet devices firm Gaia Smart Cities acquired communications service provider Netcore’s Internet of Things (IoT) business in an equity deal, the Times of India report. “Gaia will get ownership of Netcore’s IoT business and Netcore will invest in Gaia,” said Gaia Smart Cities Founder & CEO Sumit D Chowdhury.

Sensors: Fujitsu and Cratus to jointly develop wireless sensor-based products

Fujitsu Components Limited, Fujitsu Components America, and Cratus Technology have entered an agreement to jointly develop and produce intelligent wireless sensor-based products for OEMs in the industrial IoT (IIoT) market. “Working with Cratus as our hardware design partner and combining our wireless and sensing technologies will give U.S. customers local access to the latest technology, design, and manufacturing resources they’ll need to quickly come to market with leading IIoT products,” said Bob Thornton, president and COO of Fujitsu Components America, in a statement.

Today’s forecast: Global revenues from IoT data to reach $30 billion in 2021

Global revenues from the integration, storage, analysis, and presentation of IoT data will triple by 2021, reaching a value of $30 billion, according to ABI Research. “Descriptive analytics currently generate more than 75 percent of IoT analytics revenue. But over the next five years, rapid uptake of advanced analytics will overtake descriptive analytics’ share of revenue to the extent that predictive and prescriptive analytics will account for more than 60 percent of IoT analytics revenue by 2021,” said Ryan Martin, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.

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