“Intent-driven autonomous networks for smart mobility” is a new Catalyst that demonstrates innovative, intent-driven management techniques for autonomous operation of V2X infrastructure in the Smart Mobility sector. The team leveraged the Autonomous Networks Framework of TM Forum and sought to standardize the interfaces required for intent-driven operation.
Driving towards smart mobility with intent
“Intent-driven autonomous networks for smart mobility” is a new Catalyst that demonstrates innovative, intent-driven management techniques for autonomous operation of V2X infrastructure in the Smart Mobility sector. The team leveraged the Autonomous Networks Framework of TM Forum and sought to standardize the interfaces required for intent-driven operation. The Catalyst is championed by communications service providers (CSPs) including BT Group, Telecom Italia Group, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Orange, and is supported by vendors such as Huawei Technologies, Incognito Software Systems, Netcracker Technology and TEOCO. The team is also working with the actual end-users, which are the toll road operators and municipalities tasked with delivering and operating road networks. Autostrada del Brennero, which manages the A22 motorway in Italy, worked closely with the CSPs and vendors to tackle specific use-case problems that leverage both cellular V2X (C-V2X) connectivity and intent-driven operations. The International Alliance for Mobility Testing and Standardization (IAMTS) provided its expertise on the coordinating driving / speed harmonization use case from a standardization and regulatory point of view, while Imperial College London designed the tire-emissions/torque-control use case. This Catalyst focuses specifically on road transport and the operators of that infrastructure – either toll road operators, or municipalities in the case of urban areas. The first challenge is traffic congestion, which, unfortunately, is familiar to most of us. The Catalyst’s solution to help alleviate traffic congestion is better traffic management using coordinated driving methodologies specified by the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and V2X technology. V2X stands for “vehicle to everything” and it allows vehicles to communicate with other parts of the traffic system around them, such as the toll road operators’ infrastructure, other vehicles, pedestrians, and so on. In the Catalyst scenario, dedicated traffic lanes are used for coordinated driving, and the toll road operator issues speed advice to the vehicles using V2X services to optimize traffic speed, flow, and density. The emissions paradox of electric vehicles The second challenge is focused on emissions reduction and environmental sustainability, and this involves some second-order thinking. Vehicle fleets are gradually moving to electric batteries, which will reduce exhaust emissions but will also cause an increase in another form of emission. Electric vehicles (EV), which are heavier than conventional vehicles, bring more pollutants in the form of tire and brake emissions. This microplastic pollution is shown by studies to be many times more than exhaust emissions in terms of volume. These emissions occur every time a vehicle brakes, turns, or accelerates. The microplastics end up in the environment - in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and ultimately our food systems. To address the environmental challenge around tire emissions, we take two initiatives within the Catalyst: In both use cases, we employ autonomous networking and intent to deliver on the requirements of the customers (toll road operators, and municipalities). The benefits of reduced congestion For the toll road operator, reduced congestion will manifest itself as improved traffic throughput, higher customer satisfaction, and increased toll revenues. More generally, all stakeholders benefit, including the road users themselves. Importantly, we will also have a cleaner environment, and we believe this use case will help several of the participants to show leadership in this area. The evolving 5G communication technology is becoming an enabler for various real-time data applications, including V2X. However, the practical implementation of V2X applications requires new agile ecosystems with multiple partners and a well-developed digital infrastructure. Cost optimization of such a complex development becomes one of the most important issues for the communications industry. One of the ways to achieve better cost optimization is to move from manual to automated to autonomous operations at the business, operational, and infrastructure orchestration levels. Massimo Banzi, Senior Standardization Manager, Telecom Italia, stressed the importance of V2X networks being able to autonomously adapt according to the “intent”. “Intent-driven operations provide an opportunity for the CSP to become an enabler of the new V2X ecosystem, requiring the development of complex multi-partner service scenarios for our end customers, the road operators,” Banzi said. “That’s why it was important to have Autobrennero (A22 Motorway in Italy) as part of our catalyst team.” Ilaria De Biasi, who is Head of European Research Projects at Autobrennero, also noted that “adding extra lanes to motorways to deal with traffic volumes is no longer physically possible or cost-effective – we need to invest in technologies like those developed in this Catalyst”. Autonomous network operations, innovative outcome-based pricing and a focus on sustainability all combined to enable a proof-of-concept for these important C-V2X use cases. CSPs can play an even bigger role in intelligent transportation and smart mobility systems and can create value in terms of their services offerings, but also in terms of improved reporting of Environmental, Social, and Corporate (ESG) KPIs. The demand for transport will increase in future, and this Catalyst strives to ensure that we make the best use of technology so that we can sustainably manage this demand. Watch the team present the pitch statement here. Follow the Catalyst progress in DTWS 2021 on their dedicated Catalyst site and gain access to their smart mobility whitepaper. To schedule a dedicated meeting with this Catalyst team please click here.