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LTE suited for traffic applications, research project concludes

May 25, 2011 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

LTE suited for traffic applications, research project concludes

Which communication technologies are suitable to establish future telematics systems for cars? The "Cooperative Cars Extended" (CoCarX) research project figured out that, in combination with short-range radio technologies, the upcoming LTE mobile radio standard meets the requirements of a broad range of automotive-related applications.

The results of the CoCarX show that mobile telecommunications networks, in particular LTE because of its high bandwidth, can be used to implement many applications for and in cars, ranging from infotainment to time-critical driver assistance functions. The findings of the project were presented on May 25 in Duesseldorf (Germany). For the project, an LTE network from Ericsson was used which mobile radio provider Vodafone had installed in its Duesseldorf Test and Innovation Center. Test vehicles were Ford S-Max models.

During the trial, a hazard warning triggered by an emergency braking procedure by a vehicle in front of the test car showed that the signal propagation time is short enough to meet the demand of time-critical functions. In the trial, also automatic transmission of traffic message to the dashboard of the vehicles involved was demoed. In addition, a video stream was transmitted to the vehicles, proving the suitability of LTE for this type of infotainment application.

Since the LTE bandwidth is much higher than the bandwidth of 3G networks, more concurrent participants within a cell can make use of the wireless connection, the researchers said. This parameter is important to provide reliable connections in the vicinity of highly frequented traffic junctions. The short signal propagation time of less than 100 milliseconds permit the support of time-critical driver assistance systems.

In addition, one single LTE connection can be used for several concurrent services. QoS mechanisms permit to give priority to specific datagrams.

Even car-to-x communication schemes based on the IEEE 802.1p wireless standard can benefit if they are complemented by LTE, the research project concluded: Since commercial mobile radio networks typically span a large area, they can be used to forward messages relevant for a greater number of traffic participants.

In the CoCarX project were involved telecommunications infrastructure provider Ericsson, Vodafone, the Aachen Ford Research Center, BMW, and the German Federal Road administration.


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