At the Digital Assembly 2018 in Sofia (25-26 June), another important milestone in the extension of 5G testing corridors for connected and automated mobility was reached. Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia signed a Letter of Intent to work together on the Thessaloniki – Sofia – Belgrade corridor. This new agreement builds on a number of previous ones between a number of European countries, and underlines that a pan-European network of 5G corridors is now emerging.
Last year, 27 Member States agreed to develop large scale testing of connected and automated mobility on European motorwayscross-border corridors) as part of the Digital Day 2017.
This collaborative network between European countries will enable a better environment for the testing and deployment of 5G technology, and will allow tests to be conducted with driverless vehicles over hundreds of kilometres of motorways.
There are already several important initiatives in place:
- France, Germany and Luxembourg have announced a joint corridor between Luxembourg, Metz and Merzig;
- Followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden with the E8 corridor between Tromsø (Norway) and Oulu (Finland) and the E18 corridor between Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo;
- The Netherlands and Belgium join in with the Rotterdam – Antwerp - Eindhoven corridor;
- At Digital Day 2 in Brussels (April 2018), Spain and Portugal signed a Letter of Intent to have two joint corridors between Vigo and Porto and between Evora and Mérida, allowing connected automated driving to be tested across borders;
- Italy and the three presidents of Euroregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino have confirmed their intention to work, in cooperation with other interested Member States, on the development of the 5G Corridor on the Brenner Pass motorway which has traffic of over 60 million vehicles per year.
The 5G corridors make Europe the biggest experiment area rolling out the 5G technology. This confirms Europe's leadership in large-scale testing and the early deployment of 5G infrastructure enabling connected and automated mobility. This pan-European effort will create a secure and safe environment for citizens to be able to enjoy the benefits of connected and automated driving.