Millbrook to become first U.K. testbed for connected cars
AutoAir project aims to accelerate validation and development of connected cars
U.K company Millbrook said it will create the country’s first independent 5G testbed for connected cars under the recently announced AutoAir project. The main aim of this project is to bring 5G technologies to the automotive and technology industries and accelerate the validation and development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
The AutoAir project is a consortium of partners lead by Airspan Networks. This development program for 5G technology is based on 5G New Radio (NR) small cells that operate on a neutral host basis. The shared neutral host platform allows multiple public and private 5G operators simultaneously to use the same infrastructure using network slicing, which can radically improve the economics for 5G networks, the company explained.
In October 2017, Millbrook announced that it had successfully bid to become one of the leading testbeds for CAV testing in the U.K. It is working in collaboration with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority’s centre for Remote Applications for Challenging Environments (RACE), as part of the project co-funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).
The project will see Millbrook build a fibre backbone and 23 small cell base station sites. The testbed will allow CAV developers access to low latency, wide-area 5G wireless infrastructure that will work seamlessly across the entire proving ground at Millbrook. The firm highlighted that this capability is key for the validation and testing of level three to level five autonomous vehicles, which require high speed, real-time connectivity to compare the real world outcomes with the decision making simulation.
“We are delighted to working with Millbrook on this project. It will greatly accelerate and enhance the development and validation of CAVs and the crucial role that 5G networks play in the safe and functional delivery of cutting-edge transport technology. Millbrook’s facilities are unique in the UK and there was no other obvious partner to deliver the capabilities which Millbrook will offer as part of this project,” Paul Senior, chief strategy officer, Airspan Networks and CEO of Dense Air said.
“The facilities here at Millbrook are uniquely suitable for this type of testing and our proving ground in the U.K is already being used for testing a spectrum of CAV technologies. With Millbrook’s ongoing investment in ADAS and CAV test infrastructure, the addition of the 5G capability will create one the world’s most comprehensive CAV test facilities,” said Alex Burns, president of Millbrook.