University of Warwick announces 5G mmWave test platform

The Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, recognising the monumental impact that 5G is and will continue to have on wireless communications, has recently announced an upgrade to their lab to include 5G mmWave technology.  This upgrade has been possible because of a WMG Centre HVM Catapult award and equipment collaboration from NI.

The WMG will be using our mmWave Transceiver System to expand their research from the traditional sub 6 GHz frequencies into the new mmWave spectrum and unlock significantly wider blocks of contiguous bandwidth. More bandwidth means higher data throughputs, which is already beginning to lead to a variety of new applications.  For WMG, their specific interest is researching how mmWave communications can enable connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

Enabling the future of automotive

CAVs will require 5G technology to be truly successful. Existing LTE systems are lacking for several reasons, most importantly high latency and lack of data throughput. Since Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication needs to be fast in order to be meaningful, latencies above the 1 ms stated goal of 5G will not give the vehicle enough time to react.

Large bandwidths are necessary to send and receive the massive amounts of data potentially sent between sensors, the cloud, and other vehicles. Why the cloud? If all processing and sensor hardware lives on the vehicle itself, updates become extremely difficult. (Vehicles aren’t upgraded every 2 years like a cell phone.)  But, if they can upload and download data from the cloud, this issue could be resolved. The processed data could then be downloaded by any connected vehicle, reducing the need to upgrade hardware inside the vehicle itself.

WMG’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicles research team are already working with a range of industrial partners on connectivity, verification and validation, and the understanding and optimization of user/customer interaction with driverless technology. This new facility will further enhance WMG’s vison to be the United Kingdom’s “go-to” CAV development platform providing unrivalled research and testing that will accelerate product introduction, infrastructure design and implementation.

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