NEC Unveils Mobility Test Center for Demonstrating Private 5G

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NEC Corporation has opened the “NEC Mobility Test Center,” a demonstration facility that utilizes advanced technologies such as private 5G and video analysis for evaluating automated driving technologies, coordinating infrastructure, and co-creating solutions with partner companies.

The NEC Mobility Test Center, based in Gotemba City in central Japan, will contribute to the creation of safe, secure, and people-friendly cities through infrastructure-coordinated mobility services and the use of data obtained from sensors installed within a city’s infrastructure.

Infrastructure coordination is a system in which vehicles and roadway infrastructure exchange information quickly and accurately through wireless communications in order to prevent accidents, alleviate traffic congestion, provide support for automated driving, and more.

In the “Declaration to be the World’s most Advanced Digital Nation and the Basic Plan for Promotion of Public-Private Data Utilization (New IT Strategy)”(1) posted to the Government CIOs’ Portal, Japan, guidelines have been set for new road traffic infrastructure linked with 5G communications standards and traffic lights.

In fiscal 2020, basic specifications and roadmaps began to be formulated, and demonstration tests are planned to be carried out in the near future.

The NEC Mobility Test Center is equipped with road equipment, such as traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, as well as edge-computing terminals, such as private 5G base stations and C-V2X roadside units(2). This is in addition to edge-computing equipment, including roadside cameras and edge-processing devices for AI.

Moreover, the center features vehicles such as buses and passenger cars, as well as important pedestrian equipment, including electric wheelchairs.

While utilizing NEC’s know-how and equipment, which have been contributing to the growing sophistication of road traffic infrastructure construction, NEC will conduct various evaluations and verifications aiming to enable infrastructure-coordinated mobility services.

The NEC Mobility Test Center combines advanced technologies such as NEC’s private 5G, video analytics, and AI/IoT with the technologies and know-how of partner organizations to promote technological development and system verification of next-generation mobility services, with the aim of creating new value and solving social issues.

Location: Gotemba City, Shizuoka 1-150-1
Overall length: Approx. 120m
Course Details: Straight route: Approx. 100m
Permanent equipment: traffic lights, 5G base stations, AI-edge processors, etc.

Advanced Technology Experiments using Private 5G and Video Analysis

Private 5G is used to acquire and analyze overhead images of intersections with cameras installed on roadside objects. This function notifies vehicles equipped with 5G stations of pedestrian crossings, collision prediction information, and speeding vehicle information. Dangerous vehicles and people in locations that are often blind spots will also be digitized to provide safe and secure driving assistance and conduct experiments that lead to automatic driving.

Traffic Management Experiment

Recognize and analyze passing vehicles and pedestrians from camera images. Along with real-time detection of traffic volume, the source of traffic jam information, the license plate numbers of passing vehicles are also identified at the same time. NEC will also conduct experiments for assisting with traffic management and urban development, such as identifying the number of inflowing vehicles from outside a region and recognizing changes in the amount of vehicles and pedestrians in an area depending on the time of day.

Road Infrastructure Management Experiment

Acquire and analyze images of road surface conditions with roadside cameras that identify fallen objects, such as trees, and other incidents in real-time. The system will provide valuable alerts to vehicles equipped with 5G stations that an incident has occurred in their vicinity. In the future, NEC will conduct experiments to make use of this technology for road maintenance and understanding of conditions following accidents and disasters.

“NEC aims to contribute to the creation of safe, secure, and people-friendly cities by utilizing this NEC Mobility Center as a place for co-creation with partner companies,” said Yuji Onoda General Manager of Cross-Industry Unit, Cross-Industry Business Development Division, NEC Corporation.