The Antwerp Smart Highway test site is built on top of the E313 highway, located in Belgium, at the heart of Europe. The test site consists of a highway strip of 4 km equipped with Road Side Units (RSUs), and is designed for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication & distributed/edge computing research. Next to the testbed with RSUs, IDLab has developed three Onboard Units (OBUs) of which the functionality is split between in-vehicle and rooftop units. These OBUs, that also make a connection to the CAN bus, can be easily mounted on any car and moreover, IDLab also has its own test car.

Currently, seven RSUs are deployed on top of the gantries along the E313 highway in Antwerp. The RSUs are connected to the fiber network of the road operator, able to fetch information about electronic traffic signs on the highway, and to give a stable backhaul connection for edge processing on the RSU. The car is a BMW X5 xDrive25d LO with automatic gearbox from 2014 that is provided by the University of Antwerp. The car is equipped with an OBU, power system and communication hardware. This car can be driven and used as a mobile node in a V2X context.

The antennas of the communication modules are mounted on top of the RSU/OBU. The RSU/OBU is able to support V2X radio links, such as short range based on ITS-G5 and C-V2X with PC5 interface working on 5.9 GHz, to support V2X communication between RSU and OBU, or between two OBUs. The long-range communication (via Uu interface) is based on 4G and will be upgraded towards 5G-NR when available. Both commercial and software defined radio (SDR) communication modules are integrated in the RSUs/OBUs. This gives experimenters the freedom to choose which communication modules they would like to use for testing, and allows for benchmarking tests as well.

Both the RSUs and OBUs have computing power onboard for enabling edge computing. The Smart Highway architecture empowers researchers to place functions at different computational locations ranging from the OBU up to the cloud, leveraging RSU and edge. Latency, network load and processing time can be further reduced by dynamically selecting the location of the data processing and the used communication links.

Smart highway testbed allows testing of C-ITS applications in open road scenarios (highway), as well as measurement of connectivity modules in the scope of vehicular communication.

Projects

  • Fed4FIRE+: Federation for Future Internet experimentation
  • CEF CONCORDA: Connected Corridor for Driving Automation
  • H2020 5G-Blueprint: next generation connectivity for enhanced, safe & efficient transport & logistics
  • H2020 5G-CARMEN: 5G for Connected and Automated Car Mobility in the European Union
  • H2020 5G-MOBIX: 5G for cooperative & connected automated MOBIility on X-border corridors
  • H2020 DEDICAT 6G: Dynamic coverage Extension and Distributed Intelligence for human Centric Applications with assured security, privacy, and Trust: from 5G to 6G

Application domains

  • Smart Mobility
  • Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM)
  • Autonomous Driving