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Ericsson and Verizon Use VR Streaming Car to Test 5G

A driver uses streamed VR video to steer a car in test of 5G capabilities.

Faster wireless speeds are always something that consumers and businesses are seeking. As part of a trial of 5G technology, Ericsson have teamed up with telecoms carrier Verizon to test the speed and latency times of the 5G network using an Indianapolis 500 racing car and a virtual reality (VR) headset.

In a novel test of the capabilities of 5G, a racing car was outfitted with a camera on its roof and entirely blacked-out windows. The driver then donned a VR headset that was equipped with 5G technology that showed a 4K streaming video of the track ahead, with the driver steering the car based solely upon that input.

“We’re pushing beyond today’s technology — with multi-gigabit speeds and super low latency, we’re enabling new applications and the Internet of Things,” said Bill Goodman, lead engineer on Ericsson’s Technology Team.

The trial managed to attain downlink speeds of 6.4Gbps in a vehicle that was travelling at 6p miles per hour(100kmph). The team at Ericcson told ZDNet that in future, they hoped that similar cameras and sensors could be added to racing cars and racetracks so fans and pit crew engineers could watch the race from several viewpoints, and engineers could get a high-quality live feed of critical performance data.

“To really kind of push the envelope and showcase the low latency, we added in this virtual-reality driving where we’ll black out the windows, virtual reality glasses will be worn by the driver, and the camera will take a feed and uplink through 5G into the network, turn it around and send it back over 5G, and do that quickly enough so the driver can react appropriately as he’s running around this track at speed,” Goodman explained.

A video of the test is available to view below.

VRFocus will bring you further new of developments in VR streaming technology.

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