Within the framework of the NorthStar innovation program, and with EU funding, Telia is developing 150 kilometres of 5G transport corridors along selected routes. For the first time in Sweden, controlled test areas, including AstaZero, the world’s first full-scale independent test environment for automated transport systems, will be able to integrate with public roads.
“This is an important step to accelerate the development of the automated, sustainable, and safe transport system,” says Peter Janevik, CEO of AstaZero. “At AstaZero, we test automated transports every day, all year round. Connectivity systems are an integral part of our testing technologies, and having 5G systems used both in our test facility and on public roads allows us to accelerate development.”
To accelerate 5G innovation in the industry, Telia and Ericsson have launched the unique NorthStar program, with AstaZero as one of the partners. This program has a particular focus on the transportation system and the development of smart and sustainable transport solutions. Through the program and with funding from the EU, Telia is now developing 150 km of 5G transport corridors at various locations in Sweden.
The 5G transport corridors being constructed will enable automated vehicles to travel from one logistics hub to another. This scenario can already be tested at the AstaZero test environment outside Gothenburg, owned by the RISE. The opportunity to test this scenario is now being expanded to public roads, enabling vehicles to start at a port, travel along the highway and eventually arrive at a fenced storage facility. Such transport may need to switch the type of connectivity multiple times during the journey, and this can now be tested both in a controlled environment at AstaZero and in the public environment on roads.
Telia and Ericsson launched the NorthStar innovation program in February 2023 with an initial focus on the automotive industry and the development of smart and sustainable transport solutions. Currently, a handful of selected partners are participating in the program, including AstaZero and Luleå University of Technology. Technically, the NorthStar innovation network consists of a new 5G core network integrated with Telia Sweden’s existing, public 5G network, which is being rapidly rolled out across the country and currently covers 75% of the population. Partners can also build local networks at, for example, test sites or research facilities and connect them to the innovation network, regardless of where they are in Sweden.