Scania links up with Ericsson to test 5G mobile technology

Scania has become the first company to test the communication giant’s new 5G technology components, as part of a collaboration between Scania and Ericsson Research exploring the use of 5G networks in transport communications.

The technology will feature prominently in trials of autonomous driving and connected vehicles. Three state-of-the-art mobile base stations have been installed at Scania’s R&D facility and the test network will be continuously updated with new technology as it is being developed.

Explains Anders Ställberg, Scania’s Project Manager for City Automation, “The new test network with its 5G components allows for a high quality mobile network service, with low-latency and high bandwidth, where a lot of complex data can be transferred very quickly and very reliably – providing us with a ‘priority communications lane’ when it comes to projects such as autonomous driving and platooning.” Having a ‘priority lane’ has sometimes been an issue in crowded pre-5G networks, where users have to jostle for space with those who are streaming films, music or games, for example. 5G will support many more instances of use than 4G networks – particularly in communication between machines.

For Scania, the low latency (delay) in 5G connections means that the new technology could be used by vehicles transmitting braking or directional information to each other, where speed and reliability are vital. It could also be used to help improve the reliability and speed of the exchange of the information between the two or more vehicles in a truck platoon. Where previously WLAN technology has been used, the 5G technology, with its guaranteed level of latency and bandwidth, could offer an alternative.

The new technology can also play a key role in tests of Scania’s autonomous vehicle system, such as self-driving vehicles continuously updating a map for autonomous driving, stored on a central server, for distribution to other vehicles in the system.

Both Scania and Ericsson feel that the 5G trials will prove to be of great value. Says Anders Ställberg, “It allows Scania to further develop the capabilities underpinning our ongoing projects, while Ericsson fulfils its desire to test its new technology in a working, practical environment.”

Torbjörn Lundahl, Programme Director for the 5G National Research Programme at Ericsson Research, agrees. “We want to show other companies how 5G can enable and support the digital transformation of their industry., We hope to gain valuable insights and innovations that will pave the way for  further digitalisation, using 5G as an enabler. The trials with Scania will help us to understand the requirements to ensure they are met by the 5G standard and products, and deepens our experience with the transportation sector which is a focus industry for Ericsson.”

Looking ahead, the trials will not just be limited to the Södertälje testing facility. Scania will also have access to the 5G connection at Ericsson’s head office. In fact, Ericsson’s 5G test network in Kista was already used to trial smaller, self-driving buses at the end of April during Drive Sweden’s ‘Kista Mobility Week’. And, Kista will be the venue for future demos of autonomous vehicles for Scania’s city automation project.

For further information, please contact Hans-Åke Danielsson, Press Manager,
tel. +46 8 553 856 62.

Scania is a part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications. Scania is also leading provider of industrial and marine engines. Service-related products account for a growing proportion of the company’s operations, assuring Scania customers of cost-effective transport solutions and maximum uptime. Scania also offers financial services. Employing some 44,000 people, the company operates in about 100 countries. Research and development activities are concentrated in Sweden, while production takes place in Europe and South America, with facilities for global interchange of both components and complete vehicles. In 2015, net sales totalled SEK 95 billion and net income amounted to SEK 6.8 billion. Scania press releases are available on www.scania.com  

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Scania is a world-leading provider of transport solutions. Together with our partners and customers we are driving the shift towards a sustainable transport system. In 2017, we delivered 82,500 trucks, 8,300 buses as well as 8,500 industrial and marine engines to our customers. Net sales totalled nearly SEK 120 billion, of which about 20 percent were services-related. Founded in 1891, Scania now operates in more than 100 countries and employs some 49,300 people. Research and development are concentrated in Sweden, with branches in Brazil and India. Production takes place in Europe, Latin America and Asia, with regional production centres in Africa, Asia and Eurasia. Scania is part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH. For more information visit: www.scania.com.