The UK has officially launched its first commercial testing lab for driverless cars which will leverage 5G and satellite technologies.
Ixfordshire-based Darwin SatCom Lab, based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, has opened up for businesses which were looking to test connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous cars. This trial program has the support of UK telco, O2 and is backed by the government as well as the UK Space Agency.
Through the use of 5G equipment, the technical challenges of autonomous and connected cars could be addressed as it holds the promise to provide fast vehicles and more reliable data signals. Satellite technology on the other hand would help augment 5G connectivity to ensure that these vehicles operate with the utmost safety in areas that have poorer mobile network signal.
Amanda Solloway, science minister for the UK government, said, “The UK’s space sector is applying pioneering technologies such as satellite and 5G to essential products and services that will help to transform our everyday lives.”
“I am incredibly excited that O2’s first of its kind driverless car lab will enable our most innovative businesses to test these technologies and bring us another step closer to putting self-driving vehicles safely on our roads,” she said.