The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) strategy of the European Commission (EC) prioritises investment across strategic European transport corridors. The Mediterranean Corridor, primarily consisting of road and rail, is the main east-west axis in the TEN-T network south of the Alps. 5GMED is one out of the seven 5GPPP cross-border corridor projects, but it’s also the only one committed to unlocking roadways/railways synergies to accelerate cross-border large-scale 5G deployments.
The 5GMED project aims to bring a sustainable 5G deployment model for future mobility in the Mediterranean cross- border corridor. 5GMED will demonstrate how a novel multi-stakeholder 5G infrastructure is able to deliver end-to-end Cooperative Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) and Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS) services, along the “Figueres-Perpignan” cross-border corridor between Spain and France by a multi-stakeholder compute and network infrastructure deployed by mobile network operators (MNOs), neutral hosts, and road and rail operators, based on 5G and offering support for AI functions.
5GMED will support:
• Remote driving – automated driving on highways can be performed in full safety, even when a critical event occurs on the Automated Driving System (ADS) preventing the normal system operation beyond the homologated Operation Design Domain (ODD)
• Advanced traffic management – digitalized road infrastructure for intelligent traffic management of the connected and automated vehicles
• Applications and business service continuity in cross-border railway – transition of a commercial train between ADIF in Spain and SNCF in France
• Follow-me infotainment – media modules will be integrated into the network edge node and enable enhanced content distribution strategies.
5GMed brings together key stakeholders of the “Barcelona – Perpignan” cross-border section of the Mediterranean corridor including MNOs, road and rail operators and neutral hosts, complemented with innovative SMEs developing AI functions, and selected R&D centers with a proven track record in 5G research and innovation. Given the proximity of the E15 highway and the high-speed rail track in the considered cross-border section, the 5GMed consortium will demonstrate how a multi-stakeholder 5G infrastructure featuring a variety of technologies, including Rel.16 5GNR at 3.5 GHz, Rel.16 NR-V2X at 5.9 GHz, unlicensed mm-wave, network slicing and service orchestration, can be used to jointly deliver CCAM and FRMCS services
. The considered CCAM use cases include Remote Driving in cross-border open roads to enable safe fallback operation in Level 4 autonomous driving, and the massive sensorization of road infrastructures enabling AI-powered traffic management algorithms in the presence of legacy vehicles. The considered FRMCS use cases include performance services where AI-functions running on the infrastructure side analyze camera feeds from high speed trains in real-time, and business services providing high-speed internet to passengers and in-train neutral hosting capabilities to MNOs. A Follow Me Infotainment use case will demonstrate live migration of media functions across cross-border scenarios both in automotive and railways environments.
The technical activities of 5GMed are complemented by a carefully designed impact maximization strategy including: i) demonstrations in key industrial events, ii) concrete measures to influence standardization and policy makers, iii) cost-benefit analysis of the 5GMed deployment models, and iv) joint exploitation and business modes. 5GMed ambitions to become the lighthouse project for CCAM and FRMCS deployment in cross-border scenarios that can be replicated across Europe and trigger further investments through the CEF2 program.
The project has resulted in a programmable framework for managing heterogeneous transport networks in mobility scenarios. It has also produced know-how and production processes related to the architecture, design, and integration of 5G multi-operator moving cells for FRMCS business and performance services. Furthermore, a mechanism to deploy virtualized services in hybrid scenarios (edge / DCs) has been developed to support edge migration.
The project has also developed a multi-tenant small cell + RSU with wireless and satellite backhauling, as well as embedded software for automated and real-time object recognition in 3D LiDAR data, applied to security in the train. Additionally, an affordable and low-impact digitalization of road infrastructure using sensors connected to the 5G network has been achieved.
The project has also developed two levels of management for road safety. Level 1 involves road servers and algorithms capable of handling local risk situations by using C-ITS messages with very low latency. Level 2 involves proactive traffic management centers using AI tools to improve traffic safety and flow, even in cross-border scenarios. Furthermore, the project has developed Cruise4U, which is automated driving Level 4 on motorways ready for homologation, and Drive4U Remote, which is a teleoperation service orchestrated by the VLO XR platform.
The project has also successfully demonstrated and passed tests for the 5G Telematic Control Unit on an ISUZU vehicle, and developed an orchestration platform to natively support infotainment use cases and multi-infrastructure management.
The impacts of the project are numerous. Firstly, it has validated the latest version of 5G technologies and architecture in a CAM context, including validation of innovative business models and applicable standards. The project has validated cost/benefit analysis of cross-border 5G deployment enabling CAM along 5G corridors potentially including several business domains. The project has characterized 5G Release 16 or beyond for the most advanced CAM use cases (see-through, sensor sharing, high density platooning, etc.) including innovative spectrum use. It has validated sustainable models combining 5G and AI features to support most advanced CAM use cases.
The project has achieved technological validation of 5G introduction for train/railways use cases including FRMCS aspects, migration, spectrum, and co-existence issues with the automotive case. The project has developed a sustainable model for a pan-European cloud infrastructure supporting CAM services at European scale. The project has supported sustainable deployment models paving the way towards deployment actions across pan-European 5G corridors envisaged for CEF Digital. Finally, the participation of key European industrial partners of both the ICT and the automotive sectors and with high standardisation impact is desired.