ZF opens new 5G campus network at its test track in Jeversen, Germany

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ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division has further underlined its commitment to advancing ‘Next Generation Mobility’ by investing in cutting-edge 5G digital connectivity. Equipping its commercial vehicle test track at Jeversen, Germany, with its own powerful campus network enables enhanced testing of ‘Big Data’ backed solutions which are increasingly facilitating the next levels of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Transportation as a Service (TaaS). This includes supporting the development of Levels 4 and 5 autonomous driving which demands seamless connectivity and enormous data management capabilities to enable autonomous vehicle control and the highest levels of safety.

“Our first 5G campus network equipped test track sets another powerful milestone in the Group’s ‘Next Generation Mobility’ strategy,” said Dr. Christian Brenneke, Senior Vice President of Product Engineering with ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions division. “Ensuring that we continue to support our customers with rigorously tested, cutting-edge innovations, our advanced network capabilities will enable us to meet future advances and technology changes.”

“Based on an open intelligent Radio Access Network using a virtualized, cloud-based and open architecture, the new network ensures a stable transmission infrastructure with low latency and high security,” points out Dr. Rolf Reinema, Vice President IT Workplace, IT Infrastructure & Operations, IT Security at ZF. “It can safely transmit commands to and from the vehicles in near real-time, its rapid handover capability ensures a seamless end-to-end data flow in moving vehicles.”

“It took us just six months to set up this system for indoor and outdoor coverage using antennas that optimally ensure reliable handovers between base stations, even during high-speed vehicle maneuvers,” Dr. Reinema added.

ZF’s Jeversen test track, located in Lower Saxony, Germany, incorporates a mix of curves, straight and low-speed sections, replicating a wide range of road conditions to simulate real-life situations. Combining this track configuration with advanced 5G capabilities will further enable ZF to emulate different autonomous driving use cases, ranging from low-speed automated yard operations to high-speed highway operations. It also enables connectivity with roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights and gates. Being independent from mobile service providers, ZF can quickly and flexibly adapt the campus network to meet changing technology requirements and rapidly expand it to support future innovations.

Further improving the global test facility’s digital and cyber security, flexibility and reliability, ZF’s network supports seamless remote access and data transfer from test vehicles to cloud-based storage as well as rapid downloads. Manufacturers, suppliers, industry partners and other ZF guests of the Jeversen facility will also benefit from the new network. This includes high quality audio and video streams from moving demonstration vehicles and track-side cameras which can be seamlessly transferred to the visitor center to demonstrate ZF’s latest innovations.