Outdoors autonomous vehicle (AV) fleet collaboration: optimizing tasks while preserving safety

An open-space real-world scenario where Cumucore can be validated is a new paradigm of AV fleets collaboration with private AV-centred communications. This is the case where multiple individual machines are performing a shared task and need to communicate with each other (i.e. to control and coordinate the handover of components from one machine to another) in areas with no communication infrastructure available or where a closed (secured) network is required. Niche markets such as agriculture, mining, forestry or emergency services can benefit from a URLLC service centred around one or more AVs, where devices can communicate wirelessly or through fixed local network with maximum availability (99.9999%) and minimum end-to-end latency/cycle time (in the range 0.5-2 ms).

Example of URLCC scenarios in AV fleet collaboration: Agriculture
Example of URLCC scenarios in AV fleet collaboration: Mining
Example of URLCC scenarios in AV fleet collaboration: Forestry
Example of URLCC scenarios in AV fleet collaboration: Emergency services

The examples above impose time sensitive requirements in the deployments of 4G/5G private network communications in order to comply with the aforementioned mandatory safety standards in those cases that involve machinery, devices, sensors and human operators working around the AVs.

Nowadays, this type of control-to-control (C2C) Industry 4.0 scenarios are solely addressed with Industrial Ethernet standards, such as PROFINET 1, EtherCAT 2, OPC UA 3 and other protocols, which are often based on Fast Ethernet and thus restrict flexibility in operations. At the end of this EIC Accelerator project Cumucore will support this category of use cases by adding the needed flexibility of using 5G/TSN-enabled EPCs, NB-IoT slice manager and RAN infrastructure (eNodeB’s or base stations) mounted on AVs (machinery) for URLCC mission critical communications in areas where public mobile infrastructure is not available or private communications are required (i.e. due to security or rapid deployable needs). Sensors and other devices (including wearable devices for human operators) will be equipped with 5G/TSN-enabled UEs.

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