The Milton Keynes Council MK5G project wants to explore using 5G mobility to move people and goods with autonomous vehicles.
In another move towards smart cities, Milton Keynes Council in the U.K. has launched MK5G, a project to create and test mobility services utilizing the burgeoning 5G network. It recently received a new round of funding (£4.1 million) from various sources, building on an initial £10 million investment by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
The trial will begin in a relatively small area, the Stadium MK sports arena. The tests include an autonomous ten-seater shuttle, with the hopes of expanding to a city-wide initiative. These tests could be crucial to autonomous mobility services. The group hopes to demonstrate how these vehicles might move along both public and private roads.
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Building on previous projects
Milton Keynes Council already launched one of the U.K.’s largest e-scooter projects, testing out how these types of mobility services might fit into an already crowded infrastructure. The company has monitored more than 100,000 rides, gathering data from things like sensors and cameras to glean movement and explore solutions to common transportation challenges.
The latest project will take those mobility questions even further. The group wants to explore moving people and goods with autonomous vehicles. Future projects could also include surveillance by drones for security and traffic flows. The group even sees deliveries or hospitality augmented by these vehicles.
Milton Keynes Council is the local authority for Milton Keynes, the largest town in Buckinghamshire, England. With more than 18 million people within driving distance, the group wants to explore innovative ways to solve traffic congestion, hospitality issues, and other challenges to increasing urbanization.
The project is both a testbed for the technologies (5G, autonomous systems, and more) and includes future looking prospects of the use of those technologies. It also hopes to be a model for other regions around the world.
Smart cities include smart 5G mobility
“Smart city projects like ours can do a lot to inspire and empower other major venues around the world to create better, greener experiences for visitors and staff, and boost their efficiency,” said Council Leader Pete Marland. “Milton Keynes will be leading the way.”
The widespread deployment of 5G networks makes projects like this possible. Low latency and increased coverage allow local governments to international groups to monitor, control, and deploy autonomous solutions for our everyday lives. The investment from the council could signal a continued interest in the mobility of the future.