Autonomous vehicles and complex driver assistance systems need to be connected with their surroundings via a high-performance mobile communications infrastructure and the Providentia research project is looking at the “proactive video-based use of telecommunications technologies in innovative highway scenario”.
Based on data from distributed sensors, drivers and automated vehicles on the A9 motorway receive a digital image of the traffic situation that allows them to see what is coming up far ahead and ensures a smooth traffic flow. To achieve this, the vehicles must be connected to a wide area network via a high-performance mobile communications infrastructure. The test equipment checks this mobile communications infrastructure along the test route and supports the development of 5G technology.
The company is working with BMW, Cognition Factory, Elektrobit, IPG Automotive, fortiss and Huawei on the project, examining the mobile communications infrastructure along the test route to determine its suitability for Providentia application scenarios. Portable mobile communications receivers, such as the R&S TSME and R&S TSMA mobile network scanners, record key performance data of the mobile communications systems.
This data is analyzed using the R&S ROMES4 software. In addition, LTE eNodeB position estimation determines the exact locations of the base stations. This gives the project partners valuable information on the performance of the mobile communications infrastructure, enabling them to assess how well it meets requirements.
Rohde & Schwarz is also investigating the utilisation of mobile communications cells. The R&S ROMES4 platform scanning function records the current data traffic in the mobile network and this data is then analysed by the uplink allocation analyzer (ULAA) and downlink allocation analyser (DLAA).
This makes it possible to evaluate if there is sufficient network capacity to implement the Providentia application scenarios. This is especially important for the development of automated driving, since smartphones, tablets and onboard infotainment systems generate an additional and increasing amount of data traffic.
The project also lays the foundation for planning and optimizing the prototype 5G infrastructure along the test route. As future 5G systems will use frequency bands that are not presently available for mobile communications, they must be investigated in a prototype 5G network structure.
To avoid interference with existing communications systems along the test route and to determine the altered propagation conditions of the wireless signals, the test equipment is being used to investigate the frequency spectrum and visualize transmitted signals and interference signals.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the “Automation and Networking in Road Traffic” research programme.