Verizon and Cisco conducted a proof-of-concept autonomous driving trial employing 4G and mobile edge compute (MEC) which they claimed could simplify deployment of unmanned services by removing the need for roadside cabinets to extend radio signals.

The two-day trial in the US merged the capabilities of edge compute in roadside cabinets and Verizon’s network to help develop connected vehicle interfaces and applications.

Verizon and Cisco stated the virtualised infrastructure could handle the low-latency required by services including autonomous or unmanned last-mile delivery bots and taxis in large urban cities where public MEC technologies exist.

They added the approach could create safer roads using 3GPP’s C-V2X applications spanning pedestrian protection, prioritising emergency vehicles, enabling self-driving HGVs to merge with traffic and other services involving road junctions.

The companies stated the trial proved Verizon’s “LTE network and public 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength”, along with Cisco routers running edge software and the operator’s VZMode software, could meet the latency thresholds required for autonomous driving applications.

A Cisco representative told Mobile World Live latency was “well below the 100 milliseconds threshold” for vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communications,

The representative added devices with mobile interfaces could be integrated into the system.

Krishna Iyer, director of systems architecture at Verizon, stated the test “is a huge milestone in proving the future of connectivity for IoT applications” could be powered by mobile technologies.