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5G being used in new generation of driverless cars

5G being used in new generation of driverless cars
Hands-free: An autonomous Range Rover Sport being tested at Horiba MIRA

A global research centre is using 5G technology to help the next generation of vehicles talk to each other.

Horiba MIRA – the Motor Industry Research Association – is bringing in Vodafone to install the latest kit at its UK headquarters between Hinckley and Nuneaton in west Leicestershire.

The MIRA site has been leading the way in helping car manufactures develop driverless and autonomous vehicle designs for years, working with the likes of Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors on self-driving cars which have already been trialled on UK streets.

The business has plans to build a huge £26 million track in the Leicestershire countryside to test driverless cars at speeds of up to 155mph – which could eventually support around 1,800 jobs. The 1.2 million sq ft track would be half a mile long with a 330 yard wide circular area at the top.

As well as working on vehicles which drive themselves, MIRA is also working on cars, lorries and buses that share information with one another and with points along roads such as traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

A MIRA spokesman said: “5G connectivity capability is a game changer to the safety, efficiency and convenience of driverless vehicles.”

MIRA’s investment will see Vodafone deploy and build a 4G and 5G mobile private network at the site.

It will help improve the site’s self-driving capabilities, which include work on the rising cybersecurity threats facing driverless technologies as well as the use of artificial intelligence in unmanned military vehicles.

The 5G will be used by MIRA’s clients, including vehicle developers, self-driving disruptors, and their suppliers, to help with their work.

Ultrafast data speeds will allow vehicles to communicate with each other and surrounding infrastructure in near-real time – allowing them to react quicker to emergency situations, travel in unison with other vehicles, and even improve air quality through better route planning.

Horiba MIRA is a key member of the Automotive Council – the organisation that oversees the UK’s strategy on driverless vehicles.

Anne Sheehan, business director at Vodafone UK, said: “Our 5G technology makes self-driving vehicles on our roads not just a possibility, but a reality.

“This mobile private network will play a huge role in supporting Horiba MIRA’s cutting edge work on the development and testing of driverless technologies.”

Chris Reeves, head of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies at Horiba MIRA, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Vodafone in bringing 5G to our Nuneaton headquarters, which, working alongside automakers around the world over the last decade, puts us at the forefront of developing and verifying cutting-edge driverless technologies.

“As the self-driving industry transitions from developing standalone autonomous vehicles, to delivering self-driving vehicles that can communicate with each other and the surrounding infrastructure, having access to Vodafone’s 5G technology is a huge boost for the sector as a whole.

“It will enable us to work and collaborate with the industry’s biggest players to ensure their technologies are safe, robust, convenient and efficient to hit our roads in the near future.”

Source: www.business-live.co.uk

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