In a “fireside chat” at the Connected Vehicles USA 2023 conference, NIST’s Transformational Networks and Services Group Leader Tao Zhang discussed future communications needs for automated vehicles. The discussion was moderated by Scott McCormick, president of Connected Vehicle Trade Association.
Zhang initially offered insights on how 5G networks will communicate with automated vehicles. Unlike much simpler 4G networks, 5G networks will be more “intelligent.” They can be configured to best provide needed and different services. More specifically, a 5G network will use “network slices” – multiple independent and virtual networks – to isolate as well as deliver these different services to such applications as automated vehicles, phones, and more.
Zhang also generally assessed the needs of these 5G networks. Their complexity will require advanced automation, involving artificial intelligence, not only to configure networks for the optimum delivery of isolated and differentiated services, but also for quality-of-service assurance. This automation must be able to measure, characterize, and control interference on these network slices in order control delays and reduce disruptions of services. And artificial intelligence will be needed to improve networks and their capabilities.
Automated vehicles will have their own onboard intelligent devices that must be trained and updated over time. Edge learning is becoming increasingly important to such continuous learning needs, as vehicles collect and generate new and vast amounts of data over time and cannot send it all to the cloud.
Additionally, Zhang pointed out that there is no guarantee that a network will always work as intended. It is therefore important for onboard and offboard applications to become more intelligent so that they can operate in a broader range of network conditions.