In the future, drivers of Stellantis vehicles could employ technology that reacts far more quickly that current driver-assist systems thanks to the use of Multi-access Edge Computing, or MEC.
Stellantis is investigating its use in vehicle-to-everything connectivity, vehicle monitors, and systems that respond to nearby emergency vehicles or other hazardous situations.
The automaker is currently investing it’s use in its vehicles sold in North America for the simplest of reasons: greater connectivity speed.
That’s great, but what is Multi-access Edge Computing?
MEC performs a cloud-based service that moves an application’s analytics and processing closer to the customer.
Apps and services requiring connectivity are far more responsive since they go to the edge of a network for processing, rather than back to a core cloud center. This allows for near-real or real-time results. This also allows the computer network to be optimized for high data transmission with little delay, or latency.
Since the apps run locally, they can run independently from the rest of the network — even autonomously if disconnected from a cloud core. And MEC can work with 5G. So, perfecting this technology is another key step towards autonomous mobility.
“Improved hardware and expanded software expertise have opened new opportunities for Stellantis with safety systems being one of the many areas we focus on,” said Mamatha Chamarthi, head of Software Business and Product Management, in a statement.
“Through smart and strategic partnerships, we will capitalize on next-generation systems and prove out the technology.”
Partnerships are key to the program’s success
Stellantis is working with the 5G Automotive Association to validate MEC’s adaptability to a cellular 5G network. The group is a global, cross-industry organization of automotive, technology, and telecommunications companies jointly investigating future transportation mobility technology.
Founded in 2016 by Audi AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, and Qualcomm, 5GAA has grown to a cooperative venture involving more than 130 companies.
Intel, Verizon, Harman, Altran, Telus and American Tower are among the companies cooperating with Stellantis on this venture. Testing is taking place at the University of Michigan’s Mcity Test Facility, although Stellantis is looking to expand the program the cooperation of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
What it means for Stellantis
For Stellantis, MEC could collect data from red light or speed cameras to notify the driver about what they can’t see, such as upcoming driving hazards, pedestrians or approaching emergency vehicles. Such notifications are a result of Stellantis engineers working with HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud, a digital warning system that triggers when an emergency vehicle activates their lights. The alert would come through the vehicle’s Uconnect system.
Initial testing is being done with a pair of Uconnect-equipped 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrids, as well as vehicles Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles equipped with Uconnect dating back to 2018.
The company stated the new technology will reach consumers once test results are in but didn’t say how long that would be.