Connected and automated road mobility in the European Union

5G PPP project 5G-CARMEN


Roberto Riggio                                                               Andreas Heider-Aviet
Fondazione Bruno Kessler                                          T-Systems
rriggio(at)                                                            andreas.heider-aviet(at)

European mobility is drastically changing: growing urbanization, environmental aspects, and safety are only a few of the key indicators pointing in this direction. Road infrastructures and vehicles are blending with the digital world, becoming always-connected, automated and intelligent. In this context, the European Union pushes for large-scale collaborative cross-border validation activities on cooperative, connected and automated mobility. 5G-CARMEN, a Horizon 2020 project within the 5G PPP, addresses these challenges by harnessing the concept of Mobility Corridors.

The 5G-CARMEN consortium conducts extensive trials across an important 600 km road corridor from Bologna to Munich, which is connecting the three European regions Bavaria, Tirol and Trentino. 5G-CARMEN will realise a 5G-enabled corridor to validate a set of innovative Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM) use cases from both business and technical perspectives. To achieve this, 5G-CARMEN will leverage the most recent 5G technology enablers, including 5G NR, C-V2X interfaces, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), end-to-end network slicing, highly accurate positioning and timing, and predictive quality of service.

Expected impact

5G-CARMEN is investigating four cross-border application scenarios: cooperative manoeuvring, situation awareness, green driving, and infotainment. For the use cases, the project targets an automation level of up to SAE L4. The Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) defines six levels of automation, from level 0 up to level 5, with level 0 being no automation and level 5 being full automation, i.e. a vehicle without steering wheel.

The use cases are expected to have a societal impact by improving both traffic safety, enabling coordinated driving by enhancing environment perception, as well as reducing emissions by aggregating heterogeneous information. Moreover, a commercial impact is expected putting automotive OEMs, the telecom operators and the road operators at the global forefront of Safety and Driving Assistance Systems. Beyond this, the 5G-CARMEN project is expected to have an impact on over-the-top service providers by allowing them to provide advanced infotainment services to passengers in cars and coaches.

Technical approach

The key innovations proposed by the 5G-CARMEN project are centred around a hybrid network, combining direct short range V2V and V2I communication, long-range V2N network communication and back-end solutions into a single platform. 5G-CARMEN employs different enabling technologies such as 5G New Radio, C-V2X, as well as secure multi-domain and cross-border service orchestration to provide end-to-end network services.

Cooperative Manoeuvring use case

Cooperation between drivers is a key aspect in ensuring safe and efficient navigation through intersections, lane changing, overtaking, entering and exiting highways, etc. Nowadays cooperation is based on visual communication via braking lights, indicator lights, or hand gestures. The information conveyed in such manner is, however, limited and often cannot be exchanged at an optimal point in time. To this end, 5G can be used to exchange speeds, positions, intended trajectories or manoeuvres, and other helpful data among vehicles. The on-board systems can use this information to derive, in the case of automated operation, an optimized driving strategy or a recommended course of action for a human driver to follow, in order to actively optimize the traffic flow and avoid dangerous situations.

Cooperative lane changing on a highway, for example, can help create the needed gaps for a smooth transition. Cooperative lane merging can be realized either in a localized or centralised manner. The former involves direct exchanges between the vehicles, while the latter builds upon an MEC server and a 5G network, which support the vehicles’ systems in determining the optimal behaviour to either execute or pass on to the driver as a recommendation. Both of these approaches are explored in 5G-CARMEN.

Situation Awareness use case

Automated vehicles and human drivers are limited in their ability to ensure safe and efficient travel because of their perception of the road traffic situation. The sensors utilized for automated driving, such as cameras, lidars and radars, can only “see” until the next obstruction, and the same applies to the human eye. Hence, sources of danger – such as objects on the road, other vehicles, or vulnerable road users like pedestrians or motorcyclists – are often hidden until the very last moment. Moreover, sudden changes in the weather conditions, like dense fog, fog ben­ches, or ice on the road, dramatically increase the risk of accidents, if the traveling speed is not adapted accordingly.

In order to help reduce the dangers in vehicular transportation, 5G-CARMEN will promote extended situation awareness by enabling vehicles and infrastructure to share their perception of the environment. This allows for potentially dangerous situations to be recognized well in advance so that appropriate actions can be derived to mitigate the risk of property damage or physical harm.


Green Driving use case

European road operators and authorities have extended their management capabilities beyond safety and traffic efficiency. Air quality and air pollution have become hot topics in our society. Although the transportation sector strives to limit its impact, it is a significant contributor to pollution with Nitrogen Oxides (NOX), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Particulate Matter (PM). In fact, around 12{b28ae05319d94bff0b4d65c5a9f4524dd588360f05c61ef440e1608e0a1c4144} of CO2 emissions in the EU are produced by vehicles.

5G-CARMEN will provide solutions towards the promotion of greener driving attitudes leading to meaningful improvements in terms of air quality as well as providing elements for entirely new solutions for road operators, road authorities and transport authorities. To this end, the 5G-CARMEN platform will take advantage of sensor-based information, either coming from con­nected vehicles or from smart sensors measuring the local emissions. In addition, data on the weather condition, on the current traffic situation, legislation databases and more can be leveraged to determine a course of action that limits the negative impact of vehicular transportation on the public health and the environment.


Infotainment use case

As wireless networks and phones have become more advanced, we can see that the content consumed by its users has evolved as well. The on-demand streaming of movies, live broadcasts and HD videos is one of the most popular forms of entertainment and dominates the Internet traffic today. It would be a passenger’s expectation to be able to enjoy the same service in an autonomous vehicle, i.e., an always-on connection, which delivers the speed and latency needed for high-quality video streaming, no matter where they are.

5G-CARMEN will explore different network architectures and configurations, aiming to satisfy the users’ Quality of Experience (QoE). Key in this regard is the prediction of the expected network Quality of Service and the proactive adaptation of streaming applications in order to avoid interruptions in the service whenever possible. High-quality services should always be available, even in cross-country border situations and inter-operator scenarios. Therefore, mobile network synergies between LTE, 5G, C-V2X and other technologies will also be investigated by 5G-CARMEN, in order to guarantee not only the data rate requirements but also the needed coverage at all times.


5G-CARMEN is currently concluding its first year of activities. During this timeframe the project identified on which borders each use case will be trialled. Moreover, the project has made significant progresses towards the definition of an EU-wide platform for CCAM. During the second year of activities the project will move forward with its planned country-wide pilots as preliminary step towards the final cross-border trials to be performed during the third year of activities.

Further information: 5G-CARMEN website –