- Who’s WINGS ICT Solutions? Meet the company
WINGS ICT Solutions is a fast-growing SME, which focuses on the development of software for various vertical sectors, namely, utilities (water, energy, gas), air quality, transportation (parking), smart city applications, aquaculture, food safety, health, industry/logistics.
The foundation includes through advanced wireless (4G, WiFi6, 5G), IoT, cloud and big data platforms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and security (blockchain) technologies. WINGS is staffed by members who have been active in research and development for more than twenty years.
Additionally, WINGS has strategic partnerships with major operators and technology vendors for the exploitation of applied knowledge, in the development of both application and platform level software.
- WINGS in 5G Mobix: what is your role?
WINGS holds a multi-disciplinary role within 5G-MOBIX, including the project’s Technical Coordination. WINGS conducts application and technology, hardware and software, developments. WINGS is involved in a wide range of use cases that will be trialled on the field. Some are classical (e.g., platooning, vulnerable user). Moreover, we are proud to have conceived an additional innovative use case: we call it “Assisted “Zero-touch” Truck Border Crossing”; the use case combines IoT, AI and 5G, and we feel that it can revolutionize logistics and be a solid foundation for supporting advanced automation and smartness in customs operations.
The use cases for one of the key use cases of the Greek – Turkish (GR-TR) Border, over Ericsson equipment and the networks operated by COSMOTE and Turkcell.
In addition, as WP3 leader,WINGS is developing, integrating and trialling an OBU (On-Board processing Unit, in-house developed), and Machine Learning Based functionality, delivered over the cloud and edge segments, involving divese vehicles (e.g., Ford is a member of the consortium), for intelligent heterogeneous data ingestion, fusion and processing.
In its role of 5G-MOBIX’s Technical Coordinator, WINGS is tasked with the overall coordination of the technical activities of the project, including monitoring of solution implementation and adherence to the technical specifications and carries the responsibility for the quality of the project’s technical outcomes.
- CCAM: can you explain it for our non-expert readers?
Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) describes the next big evolution of the automotive industry and mobility in general encompassing the paradigm shift from the current state of “people driving vehicles” to the envisioned state of “vehicles driving people.
Cooperative describes the way that driving decisions will be taken by vehicles on the road, where large amounts of information (e.g. onboard sensor readings, camera feeds, trajectory and speed information and more) will be exchanged among intelligent vehicles and with intelligent Road Side Infrastructure (RSI) and/or over 5G networks, enabling each vehicle to acquire a wide view of its surroundings and to make driving decisions not just based on its own information but in a cooperative fashion with its surrounding vehicles, based on a regional “pool” of information.
Connected describes the new, always connected state of each and every vehicle, which will no longer operate as an isolated unit sharing the road with other isolated units but will rather operate as a fully connected node of a vehicular network. Each vehicle will be connected and exchanging information at all times using a multitude of available wireless communication protocols, not just to its surrounding vehicles but to surrounding intelligent infrastructure (smart cameras, RSI, road sensors) and even to remote intelligent platforms enabling a series of advanced use cases (e.g. remote driving, remote road assistance, etc.).
Finally, Automated Mobility refers to the end goal of using all the available information exchanged thanks to the “connected” part, for each and every vehicle to make safe, secure, efficient and “cooperative” autonomous driving decisions, i.e. allowing each and every single vehicle to “drive itself” in perfect harmony with the rest of the autonomous vehicles surrounding it.
- What 5G features will become key for CCAM?
5G networks aim to address the “Connected” requirements of CCAM by enabling Vehicle to Network (V2N), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication with extremely high speeds (up to 1 Gbps) and with extremely low latency (down to 1 ms). As autonomous driving is an activity that requires extremely low latency communication (i.e. in order to enable ultra-fast reaction to the detection of an obstacle, or upon communication of an accident up ahead) with extremely high reliability (i.e. the failure to deliver a critical message may lead to an accident), the Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) attributes of 5G are of extreme importance for the automotive industry. The capability of 5G networks to create dynamic, customized slices (i.e. to reserve specific resources of the network and assign them for a specific use, or to a specific user) which may prioritize certain types of traffic over others and can provide Quality of Service (QoS) assurances, is a much needed characteristic in order to support CCAM services over 5G networks. Moreover, the combination with Edge computing ( vehicles may take advantage of the availability of powerful servers very close to their location, without needing to send and receive information to/from the core of the network) will further reduce the end-to-end latency of communication, allowing for the implementation of even computation- and power-hungry CCAM applications with extremely stringent latency requirements. Finally, certain improved 5G features such as improved user localization and enhanced Service and Session Continuity protocols (which allow for the user’s/vehicle’s communication not to be interrupted when changing a 5G serving base station due to mobility e.g. SSC mode 3) will probably provide significant performance enhancements when it comes to CCAM service provisioning.
- What elements are really needed to guarantee the proper and successful deployment of CCAM services across Europe?
Successfully provisioning CCAM services across Europe is a tremendous endeavour, which encompasses the seamless integration and operation of multiple heterogeneous technological components, as well as non-technical aspects, and thus requires the participation and smooth collaboration of multiple key stakeholders, such as 5G network vendors and 5G Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), vehicle manufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), OBU and RSU developers, Application developers, technology integrators, Road operators, state and local authorities and more. Coordination is needed in order to secure the participation of all the correct stakeholders and to guarantee the proper collection and analysis of each stakeholder’s requirement, leading to the design of an end-to-end operational framework for CCAM service provisioning. It is also very important to involve from the start non-technical stakeholders (e.g. road operators, governments/ministries, local authorities, etc.) and to construct an early plan that will lead to the development of the legal, ethical and operational framework under which the CCAM services will be developed and provisioned, with clear goals and engagement from every stakeholder.