New Zealand’s first 5G-connected driverless car tested

The first driverless car connected to 5G in New Zealand is tested on the streets of Auckland, thanks to the collaboration between Spark New Zealand and Ohmio Automotion.

The test is being conducted yesterday in a controlled area of ​​the Wynyard Innovation Campus in Auckland, using Spark's 5G pre-commercial network available as part of its 5G Innovation lab.

Spark launched its Innovation Lab in November 2018 to introduce 5G technology to New Zealand companies. The Spark network team will now start working closely with Kiwi companies to test the technical capabilities of 5G and improve its products and experiences.

The driverless car connected to the 5G was developed by Ohmio, a New Zealand company testing autonomous vehicles at Christchurch Airport. Since these tests, the car has been updated with the new technology to ensure its integration into Spark's 5G test network.

Mahmood Hikmet, Head of Research and Development at Ohmio, said: "We think this test with Spark is the second of its kind in the world and we have shown today some of the exciting opportunities offered by 5G for our autonomous technology.

"A 5G network can be up to 100 times faster than 4G, unleashing the true potential of autonomous driving because messages must be transmitted and decisions made in real time." A significant drop in latency or reaction time when one device is talking to another, will give cars human reflexes and open up multiple possibilities for connected infrastructure and a smart city ecosystem. "

The car connected to the 5G carries up to four people. With the help of a tablet, passengers can prevent the car from coming down to take it on the street. Inside, a control panel informs you about what's watching the car in real time using LiDAR technology to help you understand the environment.

Although the vehicle can travel at a maximum speed of 25 km / h, the test will limit the maximum speed of the vehicle to 7 km / h during the preprogrammed test circuit that lasts approximately seven minutes. Ohmio plans to launch more driverless cars at more closed facilities in New Zealand, including airports, university campuses, retiree villages and hospitals.

Ohmio plans to obtain road certification and look for opportunities to use cars on public roads with normal vehicles. An example of this is a "first and last mile solution" to transport people over short distances and provide a connection to or from transportation hubs, which reduces the need for parking and getting around.

Colin Brown, Network Evolution Leader at Spark, said, "Our partnership with Ohmio demonstrates the potential of 5G, which far exceeds the speed of mobile phones and wireless broadband connections.

"Many industries and businesses in New Zealand will have their own idea of ​​what their 5G transformer technology should look like." We want to encourage companies to start thinking about their own "driverless car" technology and how to prepare for it. future of 5G.

Brown, who recently attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​said the speed at which 5G will be launched around the world was demonstrated at the event. "5G was an important feature of the Mobile World Congress: it was launched in several markets with companies from various sectors, from games to medical care, and has already taken the opportunity to launch new products and services for customers."

Spark's preparation and testing for the 5G network began last March with a 5G mobile speed test in Auckland and Wellington. In Auckland, Spark reached speeds of up to 18 Gbps, about 100 times faster than most New Zealand wireless users.

Spark is in the countdown until July 1, 2020, when it plans to bring the first 5G New Zealand network to Auckland Harbor for use by Emirates Team New Zealand as part of his preparation for defense. Copa America. "Our 5G Innovation Lab is evolving, and we look forward to working closely with other New Zealand companies to test and explore the future of 5G together."

"Today, we are on a new step towards 5G for Spark and New Zealand, and in the coming months we will continue to implement more technology tests around the world.

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