Ericsson to Head European 5G Connected Car Project – Wireless Week

Ericsson is gearing up to lead a new connected car initiative in Europe focused on developing an overall 5G system architecture for end-to-end vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network connectivity.

In a Wednesday announcement, Ericsson said the initiative – the 5GCAR Project – was one of 21 new projects selected to be part of phase two of the European Commission’s 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP). The project will reportedly run for two years through May 2019, and will employ approximately 30 full-time researchers. Partners on the project span a number of equipment companies, research centers, carriers, and automakers, including Ericsson, Bosch, Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya, Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia, Chalmers University of Technology, Huawei, King’s College London, Marben, Nokia, Orange, PSA group, Sequans, Viscoda, and Volvo Cars.

Ericsson said the project will be eligible for funding from the European Union, which has allocated some 154 million euros for 5G PPP’s phase two initiatives across different verticals. The 5GCAR Project is expected to run on a budget of 8 million euros over its two-year span.

Ericsson indicated such funding will be key to help the project extend tests and ensure the safe deployment of connected vehicles by 2020.

“The European funding granted to our 5GCAR project is a major step, as it will allow our initiative to further develop in order to meet the market needs by 2020,” Franck Bouetard, head of Ericsson France, commented. “Having such projects in Europe is key in this worldwide race, as it will secure additional business and employment in the continent in the future.”

The announcement will come as little surprise to industry watchers given how strongly the company focused on and promoted its connected car solutions at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. But Ericsson is far from the only one looking to a connected car future.

During MWC, Qualcomm and LG Electronics also announced plans to boost testing and adoption of 5G and Cellular-V2X communication technologies for vehicles. Trials of those technologies are expected in the first half of next year.

Samsung and AT&T earlier this year joined the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) to help evolve, test, and promote communications solutions for connected mobility. And at MWC, the latter also outlined its plans for global connectivity through its Bridge Alliance initiative for connected cars. More on that here.

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