WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
UK Space Agency: O2 launches UK's first driverless cars lab
Telecomms provider O2, backed by the Government, has today (1 October) launched the UK’s first commercial lab – the Darwin SatCom Lab.
- Businesses will trial driverless cars that use 5G and satellite technology to stay connected.
5G could address many of the technical challenges faced by driverless cars by providing stronger, faster and more reliable data signals. While satellite technology can augment 5G connectivity, allowing the vehicles to operate safely in areas that suffer from poor mobile phone signal.
Reducing the time it takes for information to be sent and received – the latency - compared to 4G is vital to the development of these cars, and could slash the current 20 milliseconds of lag to 1 millisecond – the equivalent of a camera flash.
Backed by funding from the UK Space Agency, the new lab – based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire – will invite businesses to test driverless cars and use 5G and satellite technology to trial ways of keeping vehicles connected.
With driverless cars and other new major applications requiring seamless connectivity the UK Space Agency is supporting companies to access satellite communications. This is not only growing the UK space sector but opening it up to companies that had previously not been able to access space.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
The UK’s space sector is applying pioneering technologies such as satellite and 5G to essential products and services that will help to transform our everyday lives.
I am incredibly excited that O2’s first of its kind driverless car lab will enable our most innovative businesses to test these technologies and bring us another step closer to putting self-driving vehicles safely on our roads.
At the site, O2 has already converted two Renault TWIZY electric cars into driverless cars – dubbed ‘Connected Autonomous Vehicles’ or CAVs – that are fitted with LIDAR sensors which allow them to be controlled from the Lab and driven around the Campus.
Using 5G equipment provided by Nokia and geosynchronous communications satellites (GEOs) provided by Hispasat, the satellite operator, O2’s team can remotely track the status of each TWIZY, including their position, movement and speed.
The 4G systems we are familiar with on our mobiles operate with a throughput of about one gigabit (1,000,000,000 bits) per second. By contrast, 5G has a data rate of 20 gigabits.
The lab forms part of Project Darwin – a four-year programme backed by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer at O2 said:
We’re delighted to announce that the Darwin SatCom Lab is now open for business at Harwell Campus, allowing companies to put theory into practice and test innovative ideas using our connected and autonomous vehicles.
The Lab is further proof that O2 is at the forefront of connectivity and accelerating Britain’s recovery by helping British businesses to harness the power of 5G and satellite communications in order to benefit their customers.
It’s the next step in getting autonomous vehicles on the road and making the UK’s transport network greener.
Antonio Franchi, 5G Strategic Programme Manager at the European Space Agency said:
We are excited to continue working on 5G projects with our partners, especially the Darwin SatCom Lab located on the Harwell Campus, which is also home to the ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications.
The Lab, showcasing the integration of 5G and satellite communications for CAVs, is a great example of how next-gen 5G networks will enable new applications and services thanks to their ubiquity, security and resilience.
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
NHS Confederation - Time to stop the broken record and start facing the music on social care reform23/10/2020 10:40:00
Nick Ville, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, responded to the health and social care committee report on funding and workforce in social care
LGA responds to further details around £1 billion COVID-19 funding for councils23/10/2020 09:40:00
Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, responds to the details around the further £1 billion announced for councils by the Government earlier this month, including £100 million for leisure services.
Decline in manufacturing activity slowed from July slump but remains weak - CBI23/10/2020 08:15:00
Output volumes in the three months to October fell at their slowest pace since March 2020, according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey. Output dropped in 10 out of 17 sub-sectors, with the headline decline driven by the aerospace sector.
Citizens Advice: Four steps to challenge an unfair redundancy or problem at work22/10/2020 16:40:00
If you've had a problem at work you may have rights under employment law. There are protections in place to help you with all manner of employment problems such as being unfairly picked for redundancy, being denied flexible working for childcare or being discriminated against because you're pregnant.
TUC calls for more government support for South Yorkshire jobs ahead of Tier 3 restrictions22/10/2020 16:05:00
Bill Adams, TUC Yorkshire & the Humber Regional Secretary yesterday comment on the announcement that South Yorkshire is to enter into Tier 3 restrictions.
NHS Confederation - CQC report highlights need for support and investment in learning disability services22/10/2020 15:40:00
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, responded to the CQC’s report Out of sight – who cares?
Employment tribunal claims backlog set to pass half a million due to Covid, warns Citizens Advice22/10/2020 14:40:00
New analysis of employment tribunal data by Citizens Advice reveals that if the backlog of claims continues to increase at the current rate, outstanding claims could pass 500,000 by spring.
UK Space Agency: Shetland spaceport boosts UK's plans for launch22/10/2020 13:43:00
UK strengthens position as European small satellite launch destination of choice.
LGA responds to CQC report on use of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation22/10/2020 13:40:00
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to a Care Quality Commission report on the review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability and/or autism
Citizens Advice responds to FCA research on financial resilience in the pandemic22/10/2020 12:40:00
Citizens Advice has responded to new research by the financial regulator, the FCA, indicating two million people have moved into a financially fragile situation - or have “low financial resilience” - since February.