Vodafone and Huawei in first European test of a tele-operated vehicle

1 December 2017

[London, UK, December 1, 2017] At Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2017 Huawei and Vodafone for the first time in Europe showed how pre-standard 5G can be used by an authorised operator to remotely control a vehicle.

The test was carried out in cooperation with the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In this demonstration of pre-standard 5G, the vehicle was located on the University of Surrey campus and was controlled from London’s ExCel centre using a fully encrypted connection.

5G could be used in future by trained and authorised operatives communicating over fully encrypted channels to remotely control machines working in particularly harsh or dangerous environments such as mining and waste disposal sites. It could also be used for the emergency control of autonomous vehicles.

The vehicle was controlled from 50km away with only six centimeters of braking deviation when it travelled at a speed of approximately 20 kilometers per hour because the end-to-end network delivered latency of less than 10 milliseconds (ms) and air interface latency of less than 1ms.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group’s Head of Research and Development and Technology Strategy, said: “The 5G standard is close to completion and it’s encouraging to see how important capabilities such as low latency and increased reliability are shaping up. This innovative demonstration shows us an exciting glimpse into the future, complementing 5G’s role in providing enhanced mobile broadband. It is a milestone in the work we’ve been doing with Huawei to show how our network will support 5G connected vehicles in future.”

Chaobin Yang, President of Huawei’s 5G product line, said: “Huawei has been committed to exploring new 5G applications to give the technology more vitality. The 5G connected vehicle is one of the most important components of the ecosystem. This cooperation with Vodafone demonstrated that the 5G network has excellent ability to help the development of intelligent network technology accelerate the maturity of the industrial chain.”

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Founder and Director of the 5GIC, said: “With this demonstration it shows that 5G is now a reality with transformative impact on all aspects of our lives.”

Professor Markus Lienkamp, head of the TUM Chair of Automotive Technology, said: “We demonstrated that Tele-Operated vehicle control will be feasible with 5G. This will enable new mobility concepts.”


About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to enrich life and improve efficiency through a better-connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 180,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.


About the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s top higher education institutions and was recognised as the University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. With 125 years of academic heritage since our founding in Battersea, and 50 years of world-class teaching and research in Guildford, the University of Surrey is the intellectual home for more than 15,200 students, 100,000 alumni and 2,800 staff.

Freedom of thought, pursuit of academic excellence, and the advancement and application of knowledge underpin the wonderful things happening here. Our mission is to transform lives and enrich society through outstanding teaching and learning, pioneering research and impactful innovation.

The University of Surrey has been recognised by three Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education and is a destination of choice for higher learning in subjects ranging from Engineering to the Arts. As a global University, we are proud of our strong partnerships with internationally leading institutions and businesses, while being firmly engaged with our local community in Guildford and Surrey. We are committed to educating the next generation of professionals and leaders, and to providing thought leadership and innovation to address global challenges and contribute to a better tomorrow for the world.


About Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with more than 550 professors, around 10,000 academic and non-academic staff, and 40,000 students. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in science and industry. It is represented worldwide with a campus in Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006 and 2012 it won recognition as a German "Excellence University." In international rankings, TUM regularly places among the best universities in Germany.