By Charlie Ashton
Mobile World Congress is starting to look a lot like the Detroit Auto Show. Except of course for the weather, the food, the drinks, the scenery, the architecture and the culture. Not that I have anything against Detroit: after all, its zoo does feature North America’s largest polar bear exhibit. But those of us walking the halls of MWC can expect to see a wide range of automotive-related demonstrations, reflecting the fact that telco-oriented companies of all types see massive business potential in this market. A timely report from Mobile World Live “Connected cars: from here to autonomy,” points out that telecom operators are second only to car makers in terms of being best positioned to exploit the trend towards connected cars. With revenues flattening in their traditional businesses, telcos are flocking to the automotive market as an opportunity to sell new, value-added services to their customers.
At Wind River, we’re delighted that our Titanium Cloud network virtualization platform is a critical element of the comprehensive autonomous car demonstration in Intel’s booth (Hall 3, booth 3E31). As the automotive industry moves from “connected cars” to “autonomous cars”, a wide range of technologies must be integrated seamlessly in order to deliver the complete experiences that drivers will expect, especially as they become just passengers. In order to make automated driving a reality, three areas must come together: car, connectivity and cloud. If you visit the Intel demo next week, you’ll see an efficient, well-orchestrated combination of technologies that include:
- 5G 28GHz connectivity to provide the low latency and high bandwidth required for cars as they become mini data centers on wheels;
- Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), enabling applications running in cloud data centers at the edge of the network to respond in real time to high-speed data from connected cars;
- Network slicing, which delivers guaranteed bandwidth and Quality-of-Service (QoS) for the multiple network connections required by each car;
- Merged Reality (MR) for improved navigation and an enhanced driver (passenger) experience;
- End-to-end security, which was flagged in the Mobile World Live report as the number one customer concern in this market.
In the MWC demo, all these applications and technologies are be running on the Intel FlexRAN platform, which is an end-to-end architecture, supported by multiple ecosystem partners, that provides scalable-density virtualized baseband pooling. FlexRAN relies on the Titanium Cloud network virtualization platform to deliver the service uptime, security, low latency communication and operational simplicity that are required for this highly challenging use case. If you’re at MWC next week, please stop by the Intel booth (Hall 3, booth 3E31) to see this demonstration. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the driving experience that’s the future for all of us and also previews a market that promises new business opportunities throughout the telecom industry. And, if you have a little more time at MWC, Titanium Cloud will be featured in over a dozen other demos in our partners’ and customers’ booths, see here for details.