The connected mobility of tomorrow: smooth journeys managed from end-to-end

The Movin’On Summit held in Canada this June presented Orange with the opportunity to showcase its work on the connected mobility of the future, with a special focus on eco-driving thanks to 5G.

“In the future, a truly efficient self-driving car will serve a group of people, never parking, dropping them off and picking them up between errands instead,” envisages Cédric Seureau, “Interconnecting Attractive Territories” Research Programme Manager.

Devoted to sustainable mobility of the future, the Movin’On Summit was held in June in Montreal, Canada. Orange was an event partner once again and was able to highlight its work and discuss this topic with experts from around the world.
“Tomorrow’s mobility can only be conceived by taking into account all the stakeholders of a broad ecosystem,” says Cédric Seureau, “Interconnecting Attractive Territories” Research Programme Manager at Orange. “To remain attractive, accessible and enjoyable places to live, territories must rethink the mobility of their users and work towards more sustainable mobility,” he adds. Digital services and connectivity have a major role to play in responding to this issue and devising a mobility model that is adapted to everyone, viable and likely to be adopted as widely as possible.
Today, connected mobility is being addressed using 5G because it allows for real-time communication between the vehicles themselves and their environment. “But it is also a way to optimally manage flows and decongest cities,” says Cédric Seureau. An example of this could be adapting car speed limits to avoid traffic jams or making it very easy for vehicles to park and thus preventing them from emitting more greenhouse gases by creating more congestion.
Sustainable mobility is a topic that is considered in a holistic sense: from the initial customer who needs to get to a meeting or travel to work, to the car manufacturers and then up to the architects and city planners who design neighbourhoods, roads, car parks, etc. “In the future, a truly efficient self-driving car will serve a group of people, never parking, dropping them off and picking them up between errands instead, which will change the whole appearance of neighbourhoods,” envisages Cédric Seureau.
Meanwhile, the communication between vehicles and their environment will have a very concrete impact on the way they are driven. “There’s no need for a car to speed up if the lights are about to change to red,” says Cédric Seureau. “It’s better for it to decelerate so that it doesn’t have to brake and can consume as little energy as possible,” he continues. The same will apply if a vehicle breaks down in an odd place, for example. Even without visibility, a car connected to its environment will know how to anticipate danger and will avoid emergency braking, risks of collision and unnecessary energy wastage.
In the connected mobility sector, 5G also enables the real-time collection and mass processing of data relating the locations, speeds and numbers of vehicles entering and leaving cities, etc., but we are not just concerned with a summary of these factors. To ensure fluid mobility and organise end-to-end movement around a city, users need to be connected and to synchronise their journeys in line with public transport. They need to know where to park their bikes and what time the next tram is coming… “Digital technology and connectivity are creating a dynamic trend in transport where all these services are orchestrated and driving is anticipated (pedestrians crossing, traffic at a crossroads, etc.), increasing safety and making real eco-driving a possibility,” says the “Interconnecting Attractive Territories” Research Programme Manager.
In the long term, the aim is to encourage residents to abandon their private vehicles in favour of soft or collective mobility. Orange has engaged in research in order to gain a better understanding of the socio-economic challenges and facilitate transition towards collective transport.

As part of its partnership with the University of Paris-Sud, Orange is supporting an economics thesis that will study “well-being and transport in the digital age” by comparing survey responses of employees in the European Silicon Valley outside Paris with those from tech companies in Cesson-Sévigné, on the outskirts of Rennes, where the arrival of the metro in 2020 is set to change habits completely. The idea is to understand how the use of smartphones changes the transport experience and to identify the future drivers of transformation in mobility. From a multitude of usage data (type of activities carried out on smartphones, apps used, duration of use, etc.) and mobility data (when, in what context, where, etc.), this study seeks to get the most value from the time that is no longer devoted to driving.

In parallel, as part of our participation in the Think & Do Tank “Movin’On Lab”, Orange and Michelin are launching a community of interest on mobile workspaces called “Smart Bus”. For businesses whose employees have to travel to remote sites, the idea is to study how they can make the most of their journey times. “It’s about ensuring that the time previously spent travelling by car is no longer wasted by providing commuters with benefits that will make them choose collective transport, which may seem more restrictive at first,” explains Cédric Seureau. The study started this year and experiments and results are expected for next year.
To be continued…

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Live streaming has become increasingly widespread. With the addition of 5G, this service can be dramatically improved at all levels, including image quality, download times, interruptions and lag. Faced with today’s generations’ enthusiasm for live feeds, researchers are now working to adapt live streaming TV so it can be done on the go. The Goal: Lag-Free Live Streams Getting closer to what’s happening live is one of the main challenges in the field of live streaming. Yet, streaming over the Internet using Wi-Fi or 4G still results in a lag of 30, 40 or even 50 seconds on tablets or smartphones. This lag will particularly hit home for any soccer fans who have ever heard their neighbor watching TV and cheering for a goal they haven’t seen yet. It also affects participants in time-limited interactive TV game shows and televised broadcasts by figures of authority in relation to announcements, alerts or disasters, for example. Ensuring service continuity, particularly when faced with high demand, is another challenge of live streaming. At Orange Innovation, researchers are therefore thinking about how they can make improvements in the field of TV streaming on the go, using a combination of 5G, video streaming technologies (multicast, low latency), network bandwidth allocation (network slicing) and edge computing. Their work has primarily focused on mutualizing streams; a key way of saving bandwidth. Dominique Thômé, Product Manager Innovation Data TV, explains that “Unlike unicast technology, which broadcasts streams as many times as there are simultaneous connections, multicast should allow a single stream to be broadcast to thousands of people connected to a large 5G zone. This mutualization prevents bandwidth loss and, consequently, service interruptions from network congestion. Another advantage, which is of great importance to Orange, is that it consumes less energy and therefore contributes to the transition to a low-carbon economy.” Recognizing the Know-How of Carriers Experiments carried out in the Orange laboratory have yielded interesting results. A real-time readjustment of video quality to prevent network saturation resulted in each customer being able to watch TV with only five seconds of lag, confirming the feasibility of 5G live streaming on the go. In fact, faced with ever-increasing volumes, some broadcasters are beginning to turn to carriers to broadcast their TV streams. They need players that are able to transmit this huge amount of data while ensuring optimal quality, in order to avoid any latency problems. Thibaut Mathieu, Director of Innovation for Interactive & Multiscreen Services at Orange says that “Our pioneering approach toward 5G live streaming highlights the valuable role that network carriers play, right at the heart of the system, compared to OTT players (“over the top,” such as the Tech Giants), both in terms of technology and business. We will be able to get involved in data transmission, with optimal mutualization technology that will save money and energy.” These technologies are consistent with Orange’s CSR commitment, both in terms of carbon footprint (lower energy consumption) and inclusion (broadcasting the right information at the right time). More than Just Entertainment The challenge goes far beyond the traditional TV broadcasting market itself. In the context of the health crisis, brands have been quick to understand the value of live streams to generate sales and are starting to venture into “Live Shopping.” Originating from China, this large-scale approach to teleshopping consists of an online event where presenters, influencers or personalities showcase products live to a digital audience who are able to order products or ask questions. Live Shopping is attracting more and more brands around the world. “With hundreds of thousands of people connected at the same time, its large scale will certainly create capacity issues” says Thômé. “This is another case where mutualization will ensure quality of service.”

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