- O2 UK to use its 3.4GHz, 5G‑ready spectrum in the testing and development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) by joining the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in London.
Telefónica UK (O2 UK) is set to use its 3.4GHz, 5G‑ready spectrum in the testing and development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), after joining the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in London, which is claimed to be the world’s largest real‑world testbed for self‑driving and connected car technologies.
SMLL will use private and public roads in London to test 5G connectivity and CAVs in a realistic setting. It is orchestrated by TRL, a transport consultancy that was previously the UK government’s Transport Research Laboratory. Its lead partner is said to be Cisco Systems, while DG Cities, a smart city research company owned by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, is also playing a key role. The programme is supported by a range of private and public entities, including the government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Cubic Corporation, Loughborough University, Transport for London, and public‑private investment fund Zenzic.
Operators are pursuing industrial use‑cases they hope will foster adoption of 5G technology, and connected car applications are among a group of headline-grabbing test cases. O2’s involvement in vehicle‑to‑vehicle and vehicle‑to‑road communications has become a significant driver for 5G development, with Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer at Telefónica UK, stating that the transport sector is set to be a “key beneficiary” of 5G. He added that a key selling point is the positive impact on congestion and the potential to reduce carbon emissions. This is the latest in a string of announcements from O2 as it continues to engage in smart city development and 5G connectivity (Telefónicawatch, #136, #138, and passim).