Connecting the port of Livorno

Successively more sectors in our society are becoming connected. Mid November, Ericsson participated in taking a major step towards the connected, intelligent sea port; a Plugtest Interop event focused on Intelligent transport systems, and an associated innovation conference - SPIN2016 - in the city of Livorno, Italy. Both activities are part of our 5G initiative in the Tuscany region.


Research director

Research director

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Seaport Innovation 2016 Rollup

During Plugtest Interop, over 80 engineers from some 26 companies worked hard for close to two weeks testing each other’s products for compatibility and performance in the setting of a connected sea port. Lead organizer was Paolo Pagano of CNIT, the national Italian consortium for telecommunications research and innovation. The event was also supervised by the international standardization organization ETSI.


The testing grounds consisted both of traditional lab environment as well as a 2.5km road loop along the piers in Livorno, and a 10 Km test track on the Livorno-Florence highway.

Satellite view

The harbor road loop had six segments, each testing a special use case and using equipment from different manufacturers. IN total sixteen vehicles where used for the testing.

cars on road

You can find more information about the context of the initiative and the full set of use cases on ERTICO’s website.

One of the tested use cases was smart street lights

Smart streetlight

Many different technologies were both tested and showcased; vehicle communication, security solutions, robotics, M2M communications and digital platforms, the list was long. Full Plugtest results were presented at the ETSI OneM2M workshop in Sophia Antipolis.

Expo corner participants

Although the Plugtest focused on interoperability for applications based on the short range IEEE802.11p wireless standard, equipment from many of the manufacturers also supported 4G LTE, which in many respects is a more mature and established communications standard.

Ericsson was represented at the event by our talented research team in Pisa headed by Roberto Sabella. The Tuscany region in Italy is known for its many creative companies and its innovation ecosystem. For this reason, Ericsson has earlier decided to invest in a “5G for Tuscany” initiative with Roberto’s team as core team. You can find lots of more interesting information about this initiative on our 5G Tuscany web site.

Since cloud robotics is one of the cornerstones of the 5G for Tuscany initiative, we demonstrated this at the Plugtest event. The demonstration set up consisted of a model of mobile logistics robot which was controlled via a simulated cloud infrastructure and software. The robot used vision-based navigation with all the computer vision algorithms also in the cloud. The demo gained well-deserved attention and you can see three of the persons behind the implementation in the picture; Giulio Bottari, Marzio Puleri and Teresa Pepe.

Ericsson demo

In conjunction and partly in parallel with the Plugtest event was also a sea port innovation event; SPIN2016. This was held at the chamber of commerce in Livorno with a sizeable audience, including local businesses and the national engineering association of Italy. I had the great pleasure to do the keynote followed by high profile speakers from organizations like ERTICO, CERN, T-Systems, CNIT, ITRI, Costa Crociere (Carnival Maritime), Maersk, and ETSI.

5G for Tuscany is moving forward!

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