HomeAutonomous VehiclesNokia to open testing facility for drone traffic management

Nokia to open testing facility for drone traffic management

Located at the Twente Airport in the Netherlands, drone tests will focus on real-world drone simulations

Finnish vendor Nokia will be in charge of the deployment of Europe’s first dedicated testing facility for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for traffic management.

Nokia’s testing facility, which will be located at Twente Airport, near Enschede in the Netherlands, will enable the Nordic firm to develop and trial its UAV Traffic Management (UTM) system for the use of drones in proximity of urban areas, people, manned aircraft, other drones and hundreds of other objects.

The deployment of this facility was agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Municipality of Enschede, the Province of Overijssel, Unmanned Systems Center and Area Development Twente.

Under the terms of the deal, Nokia will design and deliver the infrastructure to test and develop the Nokia UTM system at Twente Airport through real-life simulations and commercial demonstrations.

The Nokia UTM solution will provide the flight automation, no-fly zone control and beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) capability that will be vital for the safe operation of UAVs in densely populated cities, as well as remote rural areas. A Nokia UTM smartphone app, working with the UAV Traffic Management interface, provides drone operators with real-time flight permissions, real-time no-fly zone information as well as information about local regulatory rules, giving an extra degree flexibility and awareness, the Finnish company said.

“UAVs are rapidly becoming commonplace tools in many industries, enhancing safety, security, inspection, maintenance and many other activities. However, it is critical that they function faultlessly and safely in complex, real-world environments. This requires more than just a smart drone, but a system of intelligent traffic control that is thoroughly tested and fully developed,” Thorsten Robrecht, head of Advanced Mobile Networks Solutions at Nokia, said.

Global shipments of cellular M2M terminals reached 2.7 million in 2015

In related news, the number of shipped cellular M2M terminals totaled 2.7 million worldwide during 2015, according to a recent study by Swedish research firm Berg Insight. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1%, this number is expected to reach 5.7 million in 2020, the research firm said.

“North American and Asian vendors dominate the global cellular M2M terminal market”, said Jonas Wennermark, M2M/IoT Analyst at Berg Insight. Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless and Digi International are the largest vendors in North America, whilst SIMCom is the main manufacturer on the Asian market. “Combined, these four vendors generated close to $290 million in revenues from M2M terminal sales during 2015”, the analyst said.

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