Collaborations and partnerships are all the rage in 5G. The latest to embrace the ecosystem idea are the two latest associations to be formed around autonomous driving and connected cars – the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and the European Automotive Telecom Alliance (EATA). The two groups have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster cooperation in the field of connected and autonomous driving solutions as well as standardisation, spectrum and related use cases.
5GAA was formed in September 2016 by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm, and now comprises 33 members including telecoms operators. Its focus is on the development, testing and promotion of communications solutions, their standardization and the acceleration of their global commercial availability. The 5GAA aims to address the connected mobility and road safety needs of society with applications such as autonomous driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart city and intelligent transportation.
EATA was also formed in September last year and now comprises six leading associations (two covering the car industry, four telecoms) and 38 companies. It started life at a meeting in Brussels chaired by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger. Its main objective is to promote the wide deployment of hybrid connectivity for connected and automated driving in Europe. EATA’s first objective is to see through a pre-deployment project aimed at testing the performance of hybrid communication under real traffic situations. It will also tackle cross-border interoperability, including digital and physical infrastructure, as well as vehicle localisation issues.
“This MoU with the 5GAA not only brings the different industry partners closer together, but also reinforces the European Commission’s strategy on cooperative, connected and automated mobility that was launched at the end of 2016,” said Erik Jonnaert, Chairman of the EATA Steering Committee.
“Car connectivity and automation will require a mix of communications technologies, but it is clear that 5G technology can become a key enabler of Europe’s digital highways.”
5GAA and EATA say that in order to better support standards for connected and automated driving, prioritisation of the various technical requirements needs to be first agreed and then passed on to standards bodies such as ETSI, 3GPP and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). They believe they need to jointly address the promotion of spectrum-related issues for V2X communications, agree on usage modalities of certain bands, tackle security and privacy, as well as vehicle safety requirements to be supported by both mobile network operators and vehicle manufacturers. In fact, agreement between operators and vehicle manufacturers will be key to developing business models and aligning the timelines of both industries.
“5GAA was created to connect telecom industry and vehicle manufacturers to develop end-to-end solutions for future mobility and transportation services,” said Christoph Voigt, Chairman of the 5GAA Board. “We look forward to working with EATA to define the requirements of C-V2X and to create a successful V2X ecosystem.”
The original version of this article first appeared in Telecom TV.
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