Digital twin tests 5G automotive systems

October 31, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Digital twin tests 5G automotive systems
Spirent and Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) in the UK are deploying a 5G digital twin for use case testing with a drive-in simulator at the University of Warwick

Test equipment maker Spirent Communications is expanding its work with the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick to deploy 5G digital twin technology. The system, part of the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) initiative, emulates 5G network connectivity for testing in a controlled environment, within a 3xD drive-in simulator operated by WMG.

This is first emulated 5G standalone core network dedicated to researching next-generation mobile use cases, including connected automated mobility, in almost unlimited testing scenarios, says Spirent.

“A full understanding of future 5G-enabled industries and how to operationalize them for business and consumer usage is now possible in a safe, controlled environment, thanks to Spirent,” said Dr. Matthew Higgins, Associate Professor at WMG. “We’ll be able to test with near-limitless potential. For instance, determining how an intelligent vehicle, drone or manufacturing robot would perform on a 5G network that millions of people are using at the same time – a near impossibility on the live 5G networks today that cannot offer an accurate picture of traffic to be expected at saturation years from now.” 

MFM will be both a digital twin and real-world system with 480km of public roads serving as a springboard for scalable, future mobility technologies and services. It will provide access to a wide range of public physical test environments with smart monitoring, the latest wireless connectivity and a complete support network. The 5G standalone core network and MFM’s broader 5G program will help industry sectors, including automotive, manufacturing and telecommunications, jumpstart testing applications and processes in both digital and real-world scenarios. Digital twin technology will enable full control and customization to more effectively facilitate engagement and scope future user requirements on real roads. 

“5G is rolling out across major cities globally and nearly every industry wants to fast-track the ability to harness these new networks to push the edge of innovation,” said Stephen Douglas, head of 5G Strategy at Spirent.

Next: Using a digital twin to test 5G networks

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