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Integrated Telematics for Next Generation 5G Vehicular Communications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ITN-5VC (Integrated Telematics for Next Generation 5G Vehicular Communications)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2022-09-30

The imminent need of deploying advanced communication and autonomous driving capabilities in vehicles is turning the race towards the realization of the so called fifth generation new radio (5G NR) networks into a real odyssey for the European automotive industry. The challenges arising from the coexistence of MIMO systems on vehicles, the growing number of sensors and radars and cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) in the realm of vehicle-toeverything (V2X) communications are piling up. Many of them have not been solved yet due to the lack of qualified personnel with joint expertise in communications and sensing technologies. Thus, the acute need of the proposed ITN-5VC project, a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) training network, arises.

ITN-5VC aims to investigate the key problems of the integration of multi-band multi-antenna communications, including mmWave, with radar heads and other wireless sensors into the same telematics unit, so that transmission chains and radiation systems were efficiently reused in a cost-efficient manner while delivering the required performance. Multiple antenna deployment, joint operation and performance of the resulting automotive solution will be investigated by 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) working with top industrial manufacturers and academia in Europe. The training will tackle three main topics:
• Vehicular communications integrated with radar sensors for the sake of simplified telematics.
• Improved antenna and phased array technology deployment on the vehicle’s body or surface.
• Efficient protocol integration on V2X-specific system on chips for joint communication and sensing deployment on vehicles.
ITN-5VC will apply a new training Programme that follows the EU principles for Innovative Doctoral Training. Additionally, ITN-5VC training will apply short term missions, periodic challenges and an ECTS credit competition to boost the participation and engagement of the students to the Programme.
Mobility restrictions due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the resignations of some candidates at an advanced stage of the selection process during recruitment, and problems in obtaining visas and work permits slowed down the recruitment process.These delays in turn have led to some delays in other commitments associated with the project activity, such as the submission of deliverables, the fulfilment of the planned milestones, the start of secondments and the performance of training activities.
After analyzing the situation, the consortium agreed to proceed with an amendment request to extend the project duration by 4 months in order to mitigate the aforementioned justified delays. The requested additional time will allow the ESRs affected by the delays to complete their established full 36-month MSCA contract period, within the project duration (recuperation of unspent PMs).
Here is a summary of the main accomplishments:
• At the beginning of the project, an amendment was signed. The main objective of the amendment was to reflect the changes that took place due to internal reorganization at VW AG and at UT.
• Another amendment was required to extend the duration of the project in order to mitigate some delays in the recruitment process.
• The Project Management Committee organizes physical meetings once/twice a year and quarterly project meetings.
• The ESRs organize bi-monthly meetings to discuss their internal issues.
• All the ESRs are recruited and working according to their Career Development Plan.
• The network has organized four training events.
• The webpage, repository, social networks and teleconference tools were set up in the first year of the project.
• The project is visible on social media on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
• Related to dissemination and communication activities, several communication and outreach actions have been recorded, and a leaflet and a poster have been designed to promote the project.
•Three papers have been accepted for EuCAP 2023.
ITN-5VC is offering the recruited researchers the opportunity to join a relevant topic of the current progress of the next generation of vehicular communications that is expected to have an intense presence in the market by 2030. This means that these ESRs, at the end of the project and of their PhDs, will have experience and knowledge for which a high demand of professionals may be foreseen. The secondments of ITN-5VC are also organized with the aim of enriching the skills and experiences of every ESR, according to their respective CDPs. In this sense, every ESR at the end of the project will have worked in at least one company and one university research lab, combining the scientific and technical skills with practical implementation aspects. Ideally, the project outcome should be a group of excellent PhDs, with both technical and soft skills, that can lead future projects in the field of Telecommunications. The institutions involved in ITN-5VC can reinforce their research capacity with the inclusion in their research labs of these excellent students, and expect to have promising results, in the form of patents, prototypes and scientific publications, based on their work during the project. Being the main objective of ITN-5VC the training on the research of the ESRs, the network as a whole intends to contribute to position Europe at front of the future vehicular communication systems.