Porsche Engineering and Vodafone Business push 5G infrastructure at Nardò Technical Center in Southern Italy for the development of intelligent and connected vehicles
Nardò Technical Center (NTC), the proving ground built in 1975 in Southern Italy by Fiat, owned today by Porsche and operated by Porsche Engineering, now offers its customers a real-time communication network, which promises reduced delays, wider bandwidth, improved security and reliability, and faster deployment time.
NTC thus further underlines its role as a leading technology partner for the integrated development and validation of intelligent and connected vehicles of the global automotive industry. The 5G technology contributes to enhancing the connectivity of a vehicle by improving multi-level interaction between backend services, roadside infrastructures and other vehicles. This enables the testing of complex traffic situations.
Nine base stations for the mobile network connectivity are interlinked via a fiber optic backbone, to guarantee high standards in data security and available bandwidth. The mobile network allows for managed hybrid access, allowing public SIMs to participate, as well as private SIMs managed by NTC.
The new mobile network infrastructure enables 4G and 5G coverage throughout the testing center, which occupies an area of over 700 hectares in the Apulian region and has more than 20 tracks for high-performance testing. With the Vodafone Business 5G solution, NTC aims to enable its customers to efficiently develop and validate a wide range of future business-critical applications, from new connectivity, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle and highly-automated driving functions to self-driving vehicles.
As a next generation MPN, the new system features a hybrid infrastructure, using a private network fully integrated into Vodafone’s public mobile network. Thanks to this innovative design, both private and public coverage is provided at the same location. Thus, the local population can benefit from the availability of the fast 5G public network and at the same time NTC’s customers can make use of a private network that guarantees high standards in data security. Besides the new mobile network, now NTC also offers its customers a high-performance 1 Gbit/s connection. This allows a fast and direct connection to the cloud, enabling a globally networked cooperation and even more efficient data-driven engineering.
“At our proving ground in Nardò, Italy, we are committed to constantly push technologies to the next level, so our customers can successfully meet the increasing demands of future mobility. With the new 5G network, NTC offers its customers now an even better infrastructure to develop and test intelligent, autonomous, and connected vehicles”, says Peter Schäfer, CEO of Porsche Engineering and Chairman of the Shareholder Committee of the Nardò Technical Center.
“5G mobile private networks can act as a springboard for companies by enabling them to evolve the way they do business. In Nardò, MPN technology enables a facility that resembles an actual smart city, with coverage that is seamless on and off campus for the next generation of applications that will transform transportation and mobility. We’re excited to help the team in Nardò to plan for the future and unlock the business potential with some of our latest technologies”, adds Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business.
His first contacts with tech and IT date back to the era of the never forgotten Commodore 64. After some 15 years as a tech user and sometimes enthusiast, he went on to pursue a career in the IT field, first as a journalist and then as a PR. In recent years, he prefers to be identified as a journalist covering the wider technology market, with an eye to innovation topics.