Huawei teams up with SAIC Motor and China Mobile to test 5G remote driving

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 11:00pm

Huawei Technologies said it teamed up with SAIC Motor and China Mobile to jointly demonstrate 5G-based remote driving technology on a consumer vehicle.

The demonstration, conducted in Shanghai on Wednesday, involved Huawei’s 5G wireless system connected to SAIC Motor’s MG-iGS smart intelligent car via a China Mobile high bandwidth network.

Huawai said it wasthe world’s first-ever remote driving field test for a consumer vehicle on a 5G network.

The test was conducted when the driver was located over 30 kilometres away from the vehicle, who owned full control over the vehicle at his remote position at all times due to the network supports.

Several high-definition video cameras installed in the vehicle sent multiple real-time high-definition (HD) video feeds to the driver, providing a 240-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings over a high-bandwidth 5G network, compared with the 180 to 190 degrees for an average person without turning their head.

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Control signals for the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes were also transmitted over the 5G network, which provided the ultra-low latency crucial for instant response to various roadside conditions. Compared with a 4G network, the latency of 5G is reduced to a millisecond.

Huawei claims that the test proved that 5G’s ultra-high bandwidth is required for flawless HD video connections between the vehicle and the driver at all times.

As end-to-end latency for all vehicle control functions was less than 10 milliseconds, it enabled immediate emergency braking. For example, when the vehicle was travelling at 30 km/h, the distance travelled between braking and actual deceleration was only eight centimetres.

Remote driving could be widely applied in various circumstances, particularly harsh or dangerous environments. It could also be used to complement autonomous vehicles when human input or intervention is required.

Huawei believes the demonstration marks an important milestone in improving the reliability of autonomous vehicles, saying it was a major step forward in the commercial application of the technology.

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Chinese technology giants Huawei and ZTE Corp are competing to lead in the development of next generation 5G wireless technology, which offers speeds 100 times faster than the commonly used 4G networks today.

The China Academy of Information and Communication Technology said in June that 5G technology in China – which is scheduled for commercialisation in 2020 – will drive 6.3 trillion yuan (US$926 billion) of economic output by 2030. ZTE also said it planned to earmark at least 2 billion yuan every year for 5G research and development through to 2020.