NTT DOCOMO and multiple partners demonstrate 5G for CV and traffic data transfers

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Japan’s leading mobile operator, NTT DOCOMO, together with multiple partners, has been demonstrating the use of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technology for real-time traffic monitoring and connected vehicle (CV) data transfer systems.

NTT DOCOMO and Sumitomo Electric Industries have been jointly testing the real-time collection and delivery of traffic information using high-definition sensors connected via a 5G mobile communications system for advanced driving support. The system networks sensors that have been mounted on vehicles and installed along roadsides or in buildings to collect traffic information that is analyzed in real-time and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians. The testing has been conducted on a course at Sumitomo’s Yokohama Works, with sensors installed along the circuit and in vehicles. The vehicles are also equipped with DOCOMO 5G terminals that communicate with DOCOMO 5G base stations on the course.

5G’s ultra-high data rate, ultra-high data capacity, and ultra-low latency, enable the system to collect and analyze high-definition data on traveling vehicles and their surrounding environments, such as pedestrians and road conditions. The data is collected with high-definition cameras, lidar units and millimeter-wave radar sensors to measure the distances and positions of targets.

Sumitomo is developing sensors and other equipment for the collection of traffic data from vehicles and pedestrians, as well as for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-network (V2X) communications. DOCOMO is developing the technologies to connect vehicles and everything via including existing LTE and coming 5G technologies. Together, they envision using 5G communications to enable high-performance sensors to collect, analyze and provide detailed traffic information in real-time to drivers anytime, anywhere.

With its partners Toyota, Ericsson, and Intel, DOCOMO has demonstrated the use of 5G to achieve data speeds of up to 1Gbps for 4K-resolution video communications with a vehicle traveling at 18.6mph (30km/h). This initial multi-party trial was conducted along Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront and involved a moving vehicle mounted with an Intel GOTM 5G Automotive Platform terminal and equipped with a compact onboard antenna head designed for connected car trials.

Traveling through a 5G trial environment constructed by DOCOMO with multiple Ericsson base stations and Cloud-RAN, the vehicle successfully streamed live 4K video at data speeds of up to 1Gbps downlink/600Mbps uplink, demonstrating 5G’s unprecedented ultra-high-speed data rates, extra-low latency and massive connectivity.

The demonstration marks the first 5G multi-vendor interoperability trial involving a device connected to a base station in an automotive environment. DOCOMO will continue to work with multiple partners to develop and standardize 5G for connecting vehicles to traffic and other data.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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