What will it take for 5G Automotive and Transport applications to be proven reliable, secure and fit for purpose?
Automotive and transport 5G is far more than just ‘the connected car’. Some of these applications, such as in-car entertainment and emergency call buttons in cars (e-Call), are already well advanced. Infotainment and the connected car all started with 3G and 4G networks including emergency buttons in cars (e-Call) that make voice calls and provide location reporting to emergency operators. But, the big difference compared to today’s mobile networks is that 5G provides a service-based infrastructure depending on the automotive and transport use case requirements.
- Massive IoT – typically a sensor in the vehicle that is sending infrequent volumes of data, for example, location data for traffic and weather updates
- Broadband IoT – massive amounts of data and connectivity and enhanced coverage are needed, applications would include connected car streaming video or sending location-sensitive advertising to multiple users
- Critical IoT – includes fleet management, advanced driver assistance systems and regulated cooperative-intelligent transport systems that require Critical IoT with stringent latency, reliability and capacity requirements. It is essential that the end-to-end application is assured in order to meet performance requirements. Each segment in the end-to-end network contributes to the overall performance and success of the application. This is not available with 4G, but 5G allows you to support it.
Critical Automotive and Transport 5G services require real-time monitoring and end-to-end service assurance
Fleet Management for vehicle fleet owners, including logistics, car sharing and rental companies, need to understand vehicle locations and vehicle or driver statuses. Existing pre-5G mobile networks do not have the real-time tracking that is becoming more critical, together with real-time monitoring capability of the network and the quality of communications. It is essential that operators know how the network is performing and that messages are being delivered and in a timely fashion to the vehicle. 20ms may be an acceptable timeline for getting a message to the car, but 200 ms is not! Imagine that delay for driverless vehicles! Yikes!
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are aimed at increasing road safety by looking at driver and driving behavior. These systems are the basis of driverless cars and include collaborative data sharing with traffic signalling and other roadside information. Reliability and availability of timely data is critical for these systems to operate properly and safely. The response time of a traffic system is 20 ms, a car responding has to happen in under 1 ms!
Regulated Cooperative-intelligent Transport Systems focus on services that may be government regulated and comprise road safety and traffic efficiency management. Low latency and reliable communications are essential for a critical public safety service. In many cases, these ‘systems’ will have a dedicated network and spectrum and hence need independent verification of end-to-end service availability. 5G network slicing, a service-based logical virtual network with performance guarantees, could also be used in public safety use cases. Security of safety data is critical and data communications has to be highly reliable.
What is the revenue opportunity for 5G mobile operators?
Operators are excited about 5G automotive and transport applications as they can develop new revenue streams both in terms of average revenue per user (ARPU) and also per vehicle continuous service charges. Near real-time location reporting and 5G-enabled dash-cam improvements will drive revenue from tracking, security and insurance use cases.
Not only is the provision of 5G services critical to get right, but also the in-life continuous monitoring of slice availability and performance. Operators are currently deploying 5G new radio technology but with 4G backhaul. The key to these new services is the upgraded, slice-enabled backhaul with assurance of performance across all services and slices, as well as the end-to-end network.
What are the challenges in meeting performance requirements for Automotive and Transport 5G use cases?
The challenges of meeting ultra-low latency performance for critical 5G applications requires independent verification and assurance. Each 5G network slice has a different and individual key performance indicator (KPI) set. There may be a slice per application and hundreds if not thousands of slices to manage across a mobile network. Each slice KPI set could contain time-sensitive data that requires near real-time actions and operations that are critical for the delivery of the service.
The data that will be generated from connecting millions of devices and the subsequent KPI data for 5G slices is on a completely different scale to that of 4G networks. A performance analytics solution that can match the scalability of the network is needed to manage the needs of critical 5G network slices and the visibility of end-to-end 5G infrastructure.
Accedian Skylight comprises high accuracy, precision agents, either hardware or software, combined with a performance analytics cloud platform that can process data at scale and in real time. Microsecond measurements, microburst detection and flexible analysis is applied to the slices to assure service delivery.
It’s a big problem if you can’t pinpoint which part of the network is causing problems. Skylight can group segmented performance metrics that allow you to determine how backhaul, how front haul, and most importantly, how the end-to-end network driving your driverless cars is performing.
5G networks and slicing require the assurance of services in a scalable and effective manner, and most critically, with end-to-end performance management for future ‘critical’ services and new revenue streams.
Interested in more 5G use cases? Check out our recent blogs on retail and the personalized shopping experience with 5G or gaming-as-a-service (will it be the 5G killer app?).