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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 5G-CARMEN (5G for Connected and Automated Road Mobility in the European UnioN)

Reporting period: 2020-08-01 to 2022-07-31

European mobility is drastically changing. Growing urbanization, increasing overall mileage of passengers and goods transported on roads along with the environmental challenges, and road safety are only a few of the key indicators pointing in this direction. Road infrastructures and vehicles are blending with the digital world, becoming always-connected, automated and intelligent. In this context, the European Union pushes for large-scale collaborative cross-border implementation and validation activities on cooperative, connected and automated mobility. 5G-CARMEN, a Horizon 2020 project within the 5G PPP, addresses these challenges by harnessing the concept of Mobility Corridors. The 5G-CARMEN consortium conducts extensive trials across an important 600 km road corridor from Bologna to Munich, which is connecting the three European regions Bavaria, Tirol and Trentino across borders. 5G-CARMEN will realise a 5G-enabled corridor to validate a set of innovative Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM) use cases from both business and technical perspectives, focusing on cross-border 5G and advanced Automated Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) on the way to Level 4. To achieve this, 5G-CARMEN will leverage the most recent 5G technology enablers, including 5G New Radio (NR), C-V2X interfaces, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), readiness for end-to-end network slicing in future 5G Stand-Alone networks (SA), highly accurate positioning and timing, predictive quality of service and Edge-to-Edge Service Orchestration.
The 2nd reporting period opened with a major refocus of 5G-CARMEN activities: while vehicle sensor and state sharing and green driving use cases were successfully demonstrated in Munich and Trento on 1st project review, November 4, 2020, the request of Reviewers and the Project Officer was to refocus on V2N use cases which should better demonstrate the need for 5G and its added value. Furthermore, 5G-CARMEN should demonstrate how 5G can enable higher level of automation (SAE level 4).
Thus, refined and new use cases were defined in November and December 2021, namely Connected and Automated lane-change manoeuvres (with centralized approach and decentralized approach) and in-lane manoeuvres. All consortium partners worked at reshaping the use cases, as well as the related deployment and test plan, and new KPIs.
Until June 2021 pandemic restrictions impacted the onsite pilot activities, therefore most of the progress was made individually/bilaterally by partners whereas partners’ meetings were held remotely. Nevertheless, almost all components were deployed and functionally tested in the pilot, whereas integrated testing was done mostly from July 2021 onwards. The data analysis and preliminary results by July 2021 focused on the lane change centralized approach and in-lane manoeuvres based on forward detection. Multiple trials followed in October 2021. This pilot period was characterized by an intense, iterative onsite test activity by all partners involved in the pilot. The use cases were run at borders with limited results, as connectivity and networking aspects of the 5G-CARMEN systems were not yet completely solved.
Following the review recommendations, the main goals of the last period (Nov 2021-July 2022) was to provide cross-borderseamless service continuity, an improved on-board HMI for an effective demonstration, and the fine-tuning of the current scenarios. In the following period network issues were fixed by MNOs partners, and in Q2 2022 QCGER, CRF and partners performed several times cross-border transitions in both borders.
In particular at Brennero a public demonstration of 5G CARMEN was achieved, hosting Public Authorities, press and other stakeholders in test drives from Austria to Italy, while at the Kufstein border some unexpected issues with the production networks impacted the final tests, therefore partners had to complement the evaluation with previously collected data.
The 5G-CARMEN project was able to successfully reach all planned milestones and achieve important results. First of all, the final version of the 5G-CARMEN system architecture and its interfaces were provided, including technical specifications for its sub-components, their interfaces, and the protocols to be used for the data exchange.
The Munich-Bologna Corridor has been equipped with 5G in 4 locations (Munich, Trento, Italy-Austria border at Brennerpass and Germany-Austria border at Kufstein) and two important technical achievements were developed to minimise latency and service interruption caused by standard network reselection procedures across borders:
· accelerated network reselection was temporarily introduced in the three networks for 5G-CARMEN subscriptions/devices, yielding an interruption of the connectivity in the range of 2-4 seconds compared to tens of seconds or even minutes in standard roaming implementations
· local break-out in the visited network (i.e. the network of MTA in Austria, for 5G-CARMEN “visitors” with subscriptions from either TIM in Italy or DTAG in Germany) was implemented to allow low-latency communication to the respective MEC infrastructures hosting the 5G-CARMEN services, instead of the so-called “tromboning” of the communication flow common in standard roaming, where all traffic is routed via the home network.
The project also refocused its effort and developed two new use-cases, namely Connected and Automated lane-change manoeuvres (with centralized approach and decentralized approach) and in-lane manoeuvres.
· The centralized lane-change manoeuvres were successfully demonstrated on 3 BMW vehicles, and were based on a novel setup running on the MEC systems: a dedicated Manoeuvring service gets information from a Server Local Dynamic Map (S-LDM) and provides response to the vehicles through a response router.
· The decentralized lane change and in the in-lane manoeuvres were demonstrated by CRF prototype vehicle. In these use cases, information is exchanged among vehicles utilizing the low-latency Geoservice southbound interface at 20Hz, which acts as message relay
Despite use case testing on public roads had to cope with very dynamic road and traffic conditions, as well as with the dynamic load conditions of production cellular network, the 5G-CARMEN consortium achieved an extensive experimental campaign carried out in all sites, focussing on cross-border aspects, so that the system was demonstrated in both borders.
Furthermore, the project also developed a new market analysis and strategy for Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) services. This considers and blends efficiently the outcomes of 5G NSA measurements, NR simulations and Digital Twin with a business analysis towards a proposal for go-to-market strategy and the impact created by societal benefits. It also considers the results and outcomes of Strategic Deployment Agenda (SDA) study and has taken up lessons learnt from the various SDA studies in their semi-public discussion and feedback loops.
The test results collected towards the end of the project have been presented in standard entities and industrial associations (mainly ETSI, 5GAA, IETF and GSMA), especially for topics that directly impacted standardization and industrial associations activities.