Fira de Barcelona, one of the most important trade fair organisations in Europe by volume and quality of its events, has an enclosure comprising several pavilions, and is currently in the process of expansion.
Mobility of visitors to large-scale events and fairs causes attendees to avoid visiting certain pavilions because of the long distances they have to travel. One solution to facilitate mobility is to create and enable a flexible and dynamic automatic driverless 5G shuttle bus service.
A flexible and private 5G network infrastructure will be applied under this project to provide advanced vehicular communications services to an autonomous bus that will be used to transport passengers between different points of the enclosure.
Having autonomous mobility vehicles with configurable routes inside the venues will make it possible to provide a solution to the restrictions of current mobility services, contributing to the potential of the Fira de Barcelona venues. In addition, the project is sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
5G applied to autonomous mobility can be an innovative and reliable solution for safer driverless vehicle mobility. This was demonstrated by a pilot test run in Barcelona, led by Parlem Telecom, within the 5G Catalunya project, which developed and validated it. This technology incorporates communication standards over the 5G mobile network facilitating the communication of various autonomous devices, under the V2X protocol. A monitored vehicle receives live, high-quality images of the incidents it will encounter along its route, with sufficient speed to react and anticipate the possible obstacle or risk. The simulation was carried out thanks to the AI-driven image recognition and vehicular communication applications developed by i2cat research centre under the direction of Parlem. These applications are installed on Lenovo’s edge computing server and are used through the network deployed by Cellnex with the frequencies owned by Masmóvil.
Initially, the project was to be an autonomous bus connected by 5G to quickly and safely service internal movements between the various trade fair and congress pavilions of the Fira de Barcelona exhibition centre. In the end, the pilot test was conducted using a manned and geolocated vehicle, and it found that the network supports ultra-low latency, which makes it possible to send useful information quickly enough, and enables communication between moving devices by sending extremely high-quality images in real time. In doing so, the project validated the usefulness of 5G networks for safe autonomous driving.