Verizon to fit Audi’s test track with 5G for smart vehicle testing

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(Reuters) – Verizon is partnering with Volkswagen brand Audi AG to equip the German carmaker’ s private test track in Neustadt in Germany with a 5G network and to help test smart vehicle technology, the telecoms group said on Thursday.

The project aims to simulate communications and driving scenarios from various markets and test technology including autonomous mobility, vehicle-to-cloud communications, and C-V2X systems that allow vehicles to connect to surrounding objects such as other vehicles, or digital traffic lights.

The track will be equipped with replicas of some of Verizon’s 5G networks using gear from Nokia, computing software from Amazon Web Services, and real-time video and data transfer tools from Smart Mobile Labs, Verizon said in a statement.

Automakers around the world are partnering with telecoms and technology companies to bring more software and data to their vehicles, for communication, entertainment and safety purposes.

“The vehicle of the future will be packed with technology that needs to work under many different sets of network conditions,” TJ Fox, senior Vice President of Industrial Internet of Things and Automotive at Verizon Business, said in a statement.

Safety applications will also be tested, Fox told Reuters.

He said tests and the increased availability of data and communications infrastructure on roads will allow manufacturers to feed the obtained information into their vehicles, enhancing their safety.

The project will reduce testing time and costs, handing Audi a competitive advantage, Petr Kozak, head of development for infotainment, connectivity, data management and artificial intelligence at the carmaker, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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