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6G tech drives autonomous car innovation at Finnish university

6G tech drives autonomous car innovation at Finnish university

The University of Oulu’s Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems and Services (M3S) research group has initiated a project named 6G Visible to explore the intersection of autonomous driving and the potential of 6G technology.

The Finnish-based project team aims to uncover how 6G technology can meet and enhance the demands of autonomous driving, focusing on optimizing software functionality, reliability and security.

“In the research, our aim is to find out how to combine the various sources of expanded traffic situation information and the most efficient data transfer methods as well as information processing to enable autonomous driving,” says the project leader and adjunct professor Kari Liukkunen.

This project, bolstered by funding from Business Finland’s 6G Bridge program, is a collaborative venture involving the University of Oulu and the Finnish Meteorological Institute and is expected to run until May 2026.

The research team says it is keen on augmenting autonomous driving by incorporating traffic-related data beyond the reach of a vehicle’s built-in sensors. The project’s research extends to devising road weather services tailored for autonomous driving, leveraging Nowcasting short-term accurate weather forecasts originating from weather radars, explains Dr. Timo Sukuvaara, the senior research scientist of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The 6G Visible project may also propel Finnish automotive-related software businesses by developing 6G-era technologies and solutions for autonomous and semi-autonomous driving.

According to Pertti Seppänen, a lecturer at M3S University, the findings of this research are valuable for software companies operating in the Finnish automotive and transport equipment industry as it allows them to enhance their expertise and explore new business prospects.

“As part of other 6G research made at the University of Oulu, this project offers a concrete, intelligent traffic use case for developing and testing software solutions and architectures,” adds M3S university lecturer Pertti Seppänen.

The research topics encompass smart traffic solutions, sustainability, societal dimensions, sensor data gathering, big data, AI, decision making, system and software architecture, real-time off-loading, and orchestration related to different data types, digital twins, simulations and enhanced validation methods.

Companies including DIMECC, Remoted, Siili Auto, SpectacularAI, Sitowise and Elektrobit actively contribute to the project.

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