Port of Virginia preps private 5G for autonomous trucks

The Port of Virginia in the US expects to have autonomous trucks running on a private 5G network at its site from early next year (2024). The port has a new private 5G network from Verizon Business, operating in high-band millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which uses radio and core network infrastructure from Swedish vendor Ericsson. The initial scope will demonstrate the “safety and viability” of the technology. “Eventually this will evolve to small, controlled groups of trucks moving in convoys from the ports to local warehouses.”

The new private 5G network, announced in July last year, sets the “foundation” for a broad range of “future smart-ports technologies”, writes Ericsson in a blog post. Rich Ceci, senior vice president of technology and projects at Virginia International Terminals, is quoted in the piece: “Our vision has evolved from the ‘science experiment phase’ of an autonomous truck experiment into something where we might replace all of our Wi-Fi with a 5G network. We think 5G would be a candidate to just be one homogeneous solution that does it all.”

US ports are also looking at further spectrum options in the mid-band (3.7-4.2 GHz) and shared CBRS band (3.55-3.7 GHz) to deliver more coverage and capacity for new IoT apps, as well, writes Ericsson.

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