Telefonica unveils connected driving center in Malaga
Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, together with testing, inspection and certification specialist Dekra, unveiled an advanced research and development laboratory in the Spanish city of Malaga, in Andalusia, for the development of connected driving.
The center will have all the infrastructure needed to test 5G solutions as well as V2X (vehicle to everything) technologies.
The Malaga center already provides a complete testing environment to validate devices, applications and services that contribute to strengthening the development of connected driving with the aim of avoiding traffic accidents, improving the driving experience and contributing to environmental protection, Telefonica said.
This R&D laboratory offers a 51,000-square-meter outdoor test area for Spanish frequencies where junctions, straight and curved streets, unpaved areas, beacons, roundabouts and tunnels have been installed, all of them fitted with sensors. The circuit is completed with real and simulated vehicles, as well as continuous monitoring.
Some of the business lines with the V2X technology to be carried out at this center will be connectivity and on-board services; advanced navigation and infrastructure; vehicle monitoring and maintenance; payment automation; safety and accident prevention and assisted driving and autonomous vehicles, among others.
The external area is currently open to component, device, infrastructure and vehicle manufacturers to further advance the development of connected driving in Europe, Telefonica said.
The installation is complete with a shielded chamber, equipped in collaboration with Ericsson as a technology partner, which allows other international frequencies to be tested. The equipment consists of two 5G antennas; servers; connectivity for on-board services; big data analysis; geolocation services; vehicle monitoring (management CPD) and infrastructure use optimization software.
This center, which required an investment of 5 million euros, currently has 15 employees.
Maria Jesus Almazor, CEO of Telefónica Spain, said: “At Telefónica we are committed to the mobility of the future, connected mobility and the next step, autonomous mobility. To make this a reality, we must overcome a series of challenges, including connectivity, so that all the players in this ecosystem opt for mobile access and C-V2X (Cellular vehicle-to-anything) technology as the language of communication.”
Andrés Moreno, General Manager of Dekra Spain said: “C-V2X and 5G technologies are going to be uniquely important in the coming years and are going to facilitate a major transformation of the sector and of the business models around it.”
Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, which is already part of the project, is seeking to use the site to test connected car applications and services with 5G solutions and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies.
The Spanish operator said connected cars will contribute to reducing accidents and emissions, and improving driver experience. It cited U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration information which states V2X-connected technologies and applications could prevent more than 600,000 traffic accidents per year in the country.