The self-driving vehicle test track in the Hungarian city of Zalaegerszeg, known as the ZalaZone, was officially opened on May 20. The complex features Ericsson 5G technology installed on an existing radio tower owned by Magyar Telekom.
The ZalaZone test track offers a unique testing opportunity for car manufacturers in Europe that are relying on 5G network infrastructure, with a 2-kilometer handling course that includes a multi-surface braking platform and multiple test track modules for everything from highway roads to bad rural roads and a water basin.
The high-capacity and low-latency characteristics of 5G will be cornerstones of future transport solutions.
Claes Herlitz, Head of Global Automotive Services at Ericsson, says: “Right now, the car of the future is just on a practice lap. 5G will give us the green flag to speed up innovation. The millisecond latency of 5G will enable workloads to be shifted, balancing what work gets done in the car, and what gets done in the cloud. This makes access to data faster and allows us to transform onboard architecture of vehicles.”
Engineers from Ericsson also worked together with Magyar Telekom and service provider T-Systems to construct the test environment at the track.
At the official opening of ZalaZone, attended by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the country’s Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, attendees were shown demos of self-driving cars using the 5G mobile network for the first time in Hungary.
Gábor Éry, Country Manager of Ericsson Hungary, explains that the ZalaZone test track experience shows how various industries and academic institutions can join together to push the boundaries of what can be achieved using 5G technology.
“Ericsson is very proud to have contributed to the first 5G technology-based self-driving car demonstration in Hungary with the company’s leading 5G technology,” he says. “This project is a very good example of the close collaboration of various industries, allowing for the efficient utilization of the benefits and opportunities provided by 5G technology.”