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What happens when the bright minds from various companies team up for a technology demonstration that’s as curious as it is futuristic? A self-driving EV bus get’s equipped with a 5G connectivity hub and a Star-Wars-esque holographic conferencing solution for the ultimate use case scenario.

To make this work, Ericsson, Intel, Vodafone, and e.GO MOOVE, have collaborated on a project that would ultimately lead to a hologram interview with Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Vodafone Germany on a test in the city of Aldenhoven, just a couple of days ago. This shows how 5G can not only help vehicles to drive autonomously but also to establish cutting-edge video conferences that require a lot of bandwidth with focus on real-time-data-transition.

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Why would you need to do this during a bus ride?

This was the first interview of it’s kind. A journalist sits in a self-driving EV bus and to show that there are no wires attached, the bus is driving around during the interview. All required data is being provided via 5G network. Ametsreiter was located in Dusseldorf at the time of the interview, which is about 43 miles away from the Aldenhoven test track.

Their 5G network already works on about 90 percent of all LTE antennas of Vodafone in Germany and represents the first step to offering an IoT-ready infrastructure for the future. One single antenna can connect up to 50,000 endpoints at once, and with beamforming technology, they are able to route the transmissions in an intelligent way.

In order to achieve this level of service availability carriers and service providers leverage decentralized real-time edge cloud data centers directly located at the antenna. Using this real 5G deployment by Ericsson, Vodafone can now experiment with implementing IoT technology in cars and for other mobility uses. Among the first 5G partners of Vodafone are for example Deutsche Bahn, Continental, and the e.GO Mobile AG.

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What was actually said during the interview?

While the EV bus was circling around the test track, Hannes Ametsreiter was providing insights from his point of view. He said, “We are the 5G partner of the German economy. We help trains to spot dangers. We transform the driver’s seat of a car into a comfy entertainment area. We turn Germany’s industrial halls into Smart Factories by using 5G. And we create new forms of communication with 5G – with holograms we change boring video conferences into personal experiences. Even in a driving car”.

As a hologram, he elaborates further, “We want to create added value with 5G. This is why we are bringing the networks to those places now where there can arise added value as early as today. To our 5G partners. To the industrial halls and to the places where the German economy prepares digital innovations for their everyday use.”

But there is more, “With a 5G network in our new plant in Aachen Rothe Erde, we achieve full transparency over process and logistics data in real time on the shop floor. Thanks to the now possible digital shadow, perfect control loops can be mapped in production management”, says Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile who also participates in the interview as hologram.

”Here, the future of road traffic is evolving. Together with experts of the automotive sector, we optimize 5G for the requirements of the industry. We bring the network into accordance with other future technologies for cars”, explains Ametsreiter.

There is a lot of noise around 5G, and we know that it will hit us rather sooner than later, but this has been an exciting use case and technology demo. We are looking forward to seeing more practical pilots around 5G hopefully soon. Watch the video below for some more insight into how the interview went like.


YouTube: First 5G Hologram Interview in Self-Driving EV

Photo credit: All material shown is owned and has been provided by Vodafone.
Source: Tobias Krzossa (Vodafone press release) / Translation by Ericsson
Editorial notice: This report has been created in cooperation with the friendly team from Ericsson.

Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I’m Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say ‘hi’ sometime. 😉