Today, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced their next wave of government-funded research and development projects aiming to put Britain at the forefront of 5G technology.
StreetDrone and partners Sunderland City Council, Newcastle University, Vantec, Coventry University, Connected Places Catapult, and Perform Green have secured funding for a 5G-enabled CAL (Connected and Automated Logistics) pilot and proof of concept, as part of the “5G Create” scheme.
The project will culminate in a live trial at the Nissan factory in Sunderland, examining 5G’s ability to boost productivity through the use of autonomous trucks, and 5G enabled teleoperation, moving parts and assemblies across the Nissan plant.
StreetDrone will be providing its level 4 autonomous technology to modify heavy goods vehicles for autonomous driving, whilst incorporating an open-source self-driving stack and complementary technologies such as teleoperation and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.
Mike Potts, StreetDrone CEO believes that logistics can be one of the first commercially viable autonomous services, and this project provides an ideal testbed for the roll-out of a UK-developed autonomous product.
“The reality is that autonomous cars are likely still many years from production, however using the technologies that we’ve already developed in an industrial logistics setting such as this makes sense in a much shorter time frame,” Potts said. “I can see how the development that we’ll be doing as part of the CAVL project will quickly scale to many other industrial settings where reducing cost and increasing safety are critical factors in profitable operations,”.
Mark Preston, StreetDrone Co-Founder explained further: “We are excited to work with the CAVL consortium in the North of England to demonstrate 5G as a key enabler in the roll-out of connected and autonomous vehicles. We look forward to accelerating StreetDrone’s capability in Level 4 Autonomy, and to taking advantage of 5G’s benefits (such as low latency teleoperation, Vehicle-Infrastructure communications, and Edge / Cloud computing) to make CAV logistics a real commercially viable proposition, and demonstrate this with an exciting end-user in Nissan Manufacturing UK.”
Read about the government announcement here