Automated valet parking: Telekom and BMW are testing 5G network slicing when parking


At Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, the network operator, BMW, Valeo, Ericsson and Qualcomm have successfully demonstrated an automated driving function that uses network slicing with controlled network quality (QoS ) used. The functions were used for Automated Valet Parking (AVP).

Automated valet parking is a process of automated and driverless parking that was carried out in Berlin in a Telekom parking garage on Winterfeldtstrasse. This automated driving function is not fundamentally new, as Mercedes-Benz and Bosch tested a system of this type back in 2017 and received approval for it in the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in 2019.

5G standalone still in testing

However, the demonstration by Telekom, BMW, Valeo, Ericsson and Qualcomm is said to have been the first of its kind in the world in which data transmission in the 5G standalone network including quality of service using the still fresh API “Quality on Demand” and the function “User Equipment Route Selection Policy” (URSP) has been implemented. Telekom is currently running its 5G standalone network (5G SA) on a test basis, but has not yet opened it to end users. With 5G SA, an LTE anchor is no longer required to dial into the network, so all services run via 5G. Vodafone is one step further and already offers 5G SA for end customers.

5G non-standalone compared to 5G standalone (image: Deutsche Telekom)

Network slicing for several logical networks

Network slicing is a function developed for 5G, with the help of which a physical network can be divided into several logical networks, the so-called slices, in which guaranteed promises can then be made, for example for speed, latency or availability. In an autonomous vehicle, for example, the feature can be used for complementary functions, such as automated valet parking in this scenario. However, an autonomous vehicle must also be able to drive on the road without the Internet in order to live up to the name.

Quality on Demand in action

As Telekom explains, the car was able to dynamically select and connect to several slices at the same time during the demonstration using the URSP function. The “Quality on Demand” API was used to access network properties in order to request a defined QoS level from the network. This network API was announced in February of this year parallel to the first presentation of the AVP project on the MWC and had already been successfully tested for automated valet parking in advance. Quality on Demand is also the first interface to be standardized within the CAMARA initiative, also announced by the GSMA at the MWC, which aims to standardize network APIs worldwide.

Additional slice for critical data transmission

In the data transmission for automated parking, an Ad -hoc request to improve performance in an Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) slice. Short explanation: eMBB is the normal public data channel in a 5G network accessible to everyone. The URSP function allows the selection of slices on the device side according to the availability of slices on the network side. The actual network slicing then took place by assigning critical data to a high-value slice and non-critical data to the regular eMBB slice. According to Telekom, the measurement results should have shown that the automated driving function was consistently supplied with the necessary bandwidth resources. This also worked under congested conditions, where many users share the limited resources of the mobile network.