Wireless vehicle control : A study of the application of 5G
Abstract: In this day and age, with highly available and fast networks, many tasks are being performed remotely. However, certain tasks cannot be flawlessly executed remotely, for instance, the tasks performed by professional drivers. Their jobs demand a lot of visual cues, fast actions, and low response times, which is difficult in particular when task execution is performed wirelessly. With the release of 5G, which promises to deliver reliable and rapid response times with URLLC, high bitrates with eMBB, and supports a massive number of devices with mMTC, many companies and researchers are trying to investigate if 5G is an enabler for wireless control of commercial vehicles. This thesis first examines the latency requirements for remote control operations, and then see how 5G can meet those requirements. In this respect, the thesis discovers the latency thresholds without affecting the control performance in a scenario with users operating a small robot. Then, various tests were performed using a trial 5G system to evaluate its performance in terms of latency, video quality, bandwidth, and signal strength. In controlling robot experiments, the results showed that the highest acceptable cycle latency, both for accurate maneuvering and satisfying operator experience, is around 154ms. These results were then used as a benchmark in the tests conducted using a 4G public network and a single-cell 5G network. These tests revealed that 5G could deliver lower latencies, higher bitrates, and similar video quality when compared to 4G. However, it was difficult to retain good signal quality over 5G, especially when roaming in non-line-of-sight propagation areas. This behavior is as expected due to the terminal’s association with a single 5G base station, which can be easily mitigated with denser deployments.
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