Subaru, SoftBank launch joint research on use cases applying 5G, C-V2X
Japanese car maker Subaru and compatriot telecommunications group SoftBank have started joint research on use cases that apply 5G mobile communication systems and cellular V2X (C-V2X) communication systems to help realize an automated driving society, SoftBank said in a statement.
With the main aim of eliminating traffic accident deaths by 2030, Subaru is conducting a program of research and development on connected car technologies under its philosophy of “overall safety.” The purpose of this program is to further Subaru’s advanced safety technology developed with its EyeSight driver assist system, according to the release.
“SoftBank is pursuing the research and development of service solutions to deliver new experiences and value. As a part of this undertaking, it is examining mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and conducting proving tests for connected cars that utilize 5G systems and other leading-edge communication technologies,” Softbank said.
In their joint research, the two companies plan to install SoftBank’s transportable equipment enabling local provision of 5G connectivity at the Subaru Test & Development Center Bifuka Proving Ground beginning in the coming months. That will be accompanied, Softbank said, by “preparation of an environment for 5G networking with specifications meeting the non-stand-alone standard and for C-V2X communications, which will be followed by proving tests. The proving test plans envision communications both between stations and vehicles and between vehicles, and the verification of technology related to driving assist and automated driving control, in various prospective use cases.”
SoftBank is currently focusing on its program to deploy 5G technology across Japan. The telco recently said it expects to complete the initial phase of its 5G network two years ahead of schedule.
The carrier had initially planned to install a total of 11,210 base stations across Japan, covering more than 60% of the country, by the end of the fiscal year through March 2025, according to the report.
SoftBank plans to accelerate this plan with the aim of reaching that goal by early 2023, with further network expansion to follow.
SoftBank expects to launch commercial 5G service in March 2020. The operator is using base stations with multiple antennas to prevent slowdowns even in crowded urban areas, and it plans to combine this with artificial intelligence (AI) technology to optimize transmission.
In May, SoftBank selected Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia for the deployment of its network in Japan.