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5G for Connected and Automated Road Mobility in the European UnioN

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 5G-CARMEN (5G for Connected and Automated Road Mobility in the European UnioN)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-07-31

Setting on the 600 km corridor connecting three countries in Europe, namely Italy, Austria and Germany, the 5G-CARMEN project pursues to demonstrate a 5G-Enabled Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM). Automation, intelligence, and uninterrupted connectivity are the basic pillars of the project to improve the quality of life of citizens on the move by enabling a better mobility with less congestion, more safety and security and more efficient transport respecting the environment. The project encompasses various use cases such as Cooperative Manoeuvre and Cooperative Lane Merge, Situation Awareness, Green Driving and Video Streaming and defines a trial plan with a special attention on cross-border scenario and service continuity.
To achieve this goal the project effort goes on several directions. The key enabling technologies, including 5G new radio, Mobile edge computing (MEC) predictive Quality of Service (QoS) and highly accurate geo-localization, will be matured and deployed on the corridor to effectively demonstrate the use cases exploiting 5G-enabled vehicular network. Moreover, the project will design a federated 5G system architecture including a service-oriented, federated, and secure CCAM platform to effectively support the use cases in the trial conducted both in single-country and cross-border scenarios.
In addition to the technological side, the project has the objective to conduct a market analysis, devise new business models, and to provide a detailed techno-economic analysis and road-mapping towards exploitation and commercialisation by industrial partners. To achieve this goal, the several systems and further scope scenarios will be thoroughly assessed through elaborated simulations and laboratory studies. Finally, 5G-CARMEN intends to ensure the long-term impact of the project through standardisation and dissemination in commercial, industrial, and scientific fora.
Centering on the technical aspects, the viability, requirements and benefits of Edge Services for Automated Driving, and more precisely for the selected Use Case has been extensively discussed and led to the elaboration of our overall system architecture. The current results are most prominently visible in the established MEC platforms in all countries, enabling virtualized (value-added) services to be deployed, scaled and interconnected with minimal efforts.
Two essential Services for V2X communication and range extension are already up-and-running, with the goal to have the inter-MEC, Cloud/ITS Backend and vehicle communication operational before the end of 2021. Both types of Message Broker Service cover different areas of application, yet they integrate C-ITS platforms and fit in the complementary utilization of short-range PC5 (V2V/V2I) communication and long-range network-supported Uu communication [see Use Cases and D3.2].
The 5G-Carmen federated, secure CCAM platform concept, spanning from the Cloud to the Edge across different domains, is almost finalized. It incorporates technical results from 5G-Essence and 5G-Transformer and is designed for the cross-border life-cycle management and orchestration of 5G-related services. The system is open for 3rd party service providers (e.g. road operators, SME, VMNO etc), bears a stringent security concept and enables 5G NVF techniques such as Control-User Plane Separation (CUPS) as well as the dynamic cross-domain resource management [see D4.1 and more in D4.2].
Regarding the network infrastructure – and since the project decided to use the real mobile network (no laboratory conditions) – 5G Carmen depends on external factors for the deployment of 5G NR along the corridor (e,g., equipment availability, rollout and budget plans, regulatory/political/social constraints). Therefore, the Radio Access Network will be a combination of LTE(-A) and 5G, with the Core Network remaining most likely EPCs in all countries. For the same reason, the network slicing aspects were shifted to synthetic environments with full control on the entire stack, whereas some of the fundamentals, mainly the elaboration and disposability of network Quality of Service insights, but also the general inter-MNO collaboration on cross-border radio aspects, are extended in the field.
Building on extensive simulations comprising realistic network deployment and road traffic traces, and initial cost figures for network deployment, a preliminary tecno-economic analysis have been carried out considering different network deployment scenarios.
Dissemination in scientific and industrial standardization fora have been carried out, also exploiting synergies with other 5G-PPP corridor projects, to grant long term success of the project.
Beyond the several contributions to conferences, journal and workshops, the participation to EUCAD 2019 and EuCNC 2019, together with the other corridors’ projects 5G-MOBIX and 5G-CroCo, and the 5GAA exhibition, are the main achievement of this reporting period. Unfortunately, the lockdown due to the COVID outbreak made impossible to follow the plan (e.g. participation to the MWC 2020 with 5G-MOBIX and 5G-CroCo), and the activity focused more on the online presence like the demos presented during the online version of EuCNC 2020. Regarding the standardization activity, contributions were made to different standardization bodies such as: ESTI MEC, ETSI NFV and IETF DMM.
Although connected and partially automated vehicles are being developed, and smart roads are being implemented even today, it is important to demonstrate the availability of evolved V2X services, also in cross-border scenarios. The 5G-CARMEN project has the ambitious goal to build a 5G-enabled corridor to conduct cross-border trials and will deploy a mixture of 5G micro- and macro-cells for ubiquitous C-V2X connectivity. The 5G New Radio will be used to support latency sensitive and/or bandwidth hungry services and applications. The project will leverage on a distributed mobile edge cloud spanning from the vehicle itself to the centralised cloud. 5G-CARMEN will complement C-V2X with LTE and C-ITS technologies, targeting interoperability and harnessing a hybrid network.
Each of the use cases in 5G-CARMEN pursues an impact on the over-the-top providers, as well as on the society in terms of traffic safety, traffic emissions and driving coordination toward an improved driving experience and quality of life of the people on the move. A techno-economic analysis including the stakeholders, markets and value chains is established and will be elaborated along with business models to privilege the position and competitive advantage of Europe in relation to global markets. The project will pay attention also to the SMEs, a key player in the EU economy, with the objective to ensure that their interests are adequately considered by the 5G-CARMEN solutions. With the strategy to involve them in relevant 5G automotive related events, an SME workshop collocated with the IOThings in Milan was planned this year but, due to the COVID outbreak, the even has been cancelled. However, while a new event is under discussion, all the material and presentation needed to organize the workshop have been prepared.