Volvo Cars and Ericsson hand cars over to first cross-border 5G network

Ericsson and Volvo Cars conducted the first successful test transmission of connected cars between two national 5G mobile networks.

The AstaZero test track in Sweden is part of the EU-funded 5GCroCo project, a major initiative to prepare for large-scale trials of connected cars in the 5G corridor between Metz in France, Merzig in Germany and Luxembourg.

Tests on the AstaZero track proved that continuity of service in 5G networks can be guaranteed across borders – good news, since cross-border transfer of service is essential to ensure continuity between national networks when they are connected and autonomous vehicles cross one country into another.

Crossing the border by car is often part of a longer trip, and long trips are one of the circumstances where high-quality maps are most appreciated. The Ericsson / Volvo trials also used 5G connectivity to keep maps updated with the latest information in real time to help future autonomous driving operations and understanding of the environment beyond the range of the car and its sensors.

As part of the test, Ericsson deployed a 5G mobile radio network, and two Volvo vehicles received an HD map of the future route. By updating the maps with information from sensor readings, the connected cars can detect and distinguish the lanes ahead.

However, even recently updated HD maps can contain outdated information. In such cases, cars also send real-time updates to the Mobile Edge Cloud, allowing vehicles behind them to receive appropriate updates from the cloud.

The HD map app, provided by Volvo Cars, captured information about straight and turn lane boundaries so cars could better recognize different situations.

This functionality was made possible by the Collaborative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) ecosystem, which allows autonomous and connected cars to behave as intelligent clusters rather than individual units.

Mikael Pritz, research director at Ericsson Area Networks, says, “Sharing the upgraded map with other vehicles is a latency-sensitive task and requires high network performance within and across multiple networks. During a test at the AstaZero track, we were able to meet this challenge with promising results. We are excited to continue our collaboration with Volvo Cars to expand the networked mobility of autonomous and connected cars.