UK mobile network Vodafone is to supply a 5G private network to automotive engineering and development firm HORIBA MIRA, which will help supercharge the development and testing of autonomous vehicle technology.
Vodafone’s 5G mobile private network (MPN) will be installed at HORIBA MIRA’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The plan is to utilise 5G’s ultra-fast speeds and low latency to bolster the development of driverless vehicle technologies, such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.
Through these advances, future vehicles will be able to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure in real time over a 5G network. For example, an autonomous car will be able to interact with traffic management systems to instantly reroute around accidents and busy junctions.
Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “Our 5G technology makes self-driving vehicles on our roads not just a possibility, but a reality. This mobile private network will play a huge role in supporting HORIBA MIRA’s cutting edge work on the development and testing of driverless technologies.”
Vodafone’s MPN push
This represents the latest of several mobile private network projects that Vodafone has undertaken with UK businesses.
Back in June, the UK network teamed up with Ford to supply 5G connectivity to the car maker’s E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility in Dunton, Essex. The 5G network is helping to improve the performance of welding machines on Ford’s electric vehicle line.
In August, Vodafone was commissioned to build a 5G private network at one of energy giant Centrica’s gas plants in Yorkshire. This enables equipment throughout the plant to communicate in real time, improving safety whilst simultaneously reducing costs.
Then, in October, it was announced that Vodafone had joined Midlands Future Mobility to provide 5G coverage to an autonomous vehicle test route across Birmingham and Coventry city centres.