Back in September Qualcomm and its vendor friends (friendors?) sparked the 5G Automotive Association into life. The 5GAA was a little bit of a clique at first, only allowing a couple of car manufacturers in the club. It latterly let Vodafone join the gang, and the merry bunch set about spreading the good word about all things to do with connected cars.
Well, Ericsson, which is part of the 5GAA, didn’t want to be tied down with just one car club, and locked eyes with Orange. The two of them have since been discussing their collective future, and before it knew what was happening, Ericsson found itself engaging in extra-marital technology trials with another association.
The “Towards 5G” connected cars partnership is principally driven by Orange, but also finds French automotive multinational PSA sitting in the backseat. According to Orange, the partnership is focussed on the development and deployment of an intelligent transport system (ITS) – with the aim of improving road safety and in-car services.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to pave the way for 5G in the connected cars industry, and in the meantime the partnership will settle on LTE. Bridging the LTE-to-5G chasm is LTE-V, the vehicular-specific LTE standard currently being worked on by the 3GPP as part of Release 14.
According to Orange, the partnership is technically focussed on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) architecture and real-time performances for the deployment of ITS and connected services.
“Connected IoT services are a crucial way to enhance the user experience for our customers, who today demand unprecedented levels of comfort and convenience as well as personalised services in their vehicles,” said Carla Gohin, Research, Innovation and Advanced Technologies VP at PSA.
For the project, Orange will be providing the cellular network and necessary spectrum for the trial site, as well as on-board connectivity for the vehicular use-case. PSA will be defining the requirements and scope of the project, as well as the user experience and technical validation; while Ericsson is providing the radio and distributed virtualized core network in order to enable network slicing capabilities and geo-messaging services – AKA lots of NFV goodness.