Connected cars aren’t much good if they stop being connected as soon as you cross a border, so Ericsson and Volvo are on the case.
The claim to the first cross-border 5G network vehicular handover needs to be qualified by the fact that the car in question doesn’t seem to have actually crossed any national borders. The whole thing was done at the AstaZero test track in Sweden (of course), which is roughly equidistant between the Danish and Norwegian borders, so this should be viewed as a test environment.
Nonetheless there’s little reason to doubt they managed to synthesise the technical environment that would by faced by the cosmopolitan connected car driver looking to venture abroad. They reckon the tests proved that seamless service continuity on 5G networks can be guaranteed across borders.
“Sharing an updated map with other cars is a latency-sensitive task and requires high network performance within and across multiple networks,” said Mikael Prytz, Research Director, Ericsson Area Networks. “During the test at the AstaZero track, we could tackle this challenge with promising results. We are excited to continue our cooperation with Volvo Cars to expand the network mobility of autonomous and connected cars.”
The constant exchange of data between cars and the mobile edge is a key facet of the big plan for connected driving. Ultimately the idea is that this will enable fully autonomous vehicles because they will be omniscient thanks to all this lovely real-time data. Of course that concept relies on robust, seamless, constant connectivity, so trials like this are an important step down that road.