Over 180 participants from around the world gathered for the first edition 5G-Blueprint Forum on Teleoperation. The event, organized in collaboration with the Teleoperation Consortium and the National Institute of Standards and Technology and moderated by Wim Vandenberghe, Senior Adviser at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, took place on December 2, 2021, and was divided into three main sessions.
The opening remarks were given by Cyril Krykwinski, Programme & Policy Officer at DG CONNECT, European Commission and Scott J. McCormick, the CEO of Teleoperation Consortium and Connected Vehicle Trade Association.
The first session featured brief presentations of three EU-funded projects that address teleoperation, namely 5G-Blueprint, 5GCroCo, and 5G-Mobix, which were then followed by a lively panel discussion focused on the relation between autonomous and teleoperated mobility and the different approaches to the concept of teleoperation taken by the three projects.
The presentations are available here:
The second session, entitled “From vision to reality: teleoperation as a solution to the industry’s structural challenges” took the form of a panel discussion and featured experts, such as Lynne Canavan of Real-Time Innovations and Teleoperation Consortium, Amit Rosenzweig of Ottopia, Martin Kralik of Roboauto, Jelle Schepens of North Sea Port, and Siraj Ahmed Shaikh from the Centre for Future Transport and Cities.
The third and last session, also in a form of a panel discussion covered legal, regulatory, and standardization aspects and featured top experts, such as Scott J. McCormick of the Teleoperation Consortium and Connected Vehicle Trade Association, Michael Fernandez-Ferri of Goggo Network, Yunpeng Zang of Ericsson, Tao Zhang of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gino Ducheyne of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications, and Matthijs Klepper of KPN.
The aim of the event was to exchange ideas and lessons learned with representatives of other H2020 projects and external experts from policy, industry, and academia and extend the project network/promote the project beyond the countries where the consortium members are located. We chose the form of a panel discussion to generate an open and honest discussion about the potential and limitations of teleoperation, with the intention of providing the answers to the following questions (among others):
- Will teleoperation revolutionize the transportation and logistics sectors?
- Is this an attractive career path?
- Is a common regulatory framework a possibility? How does it currently look in the USA, Europe, and other places?
- Could teleoperation solve current challenges, such as the HGV driver shortage?
Bringing together distinguished experts from Europe, North America, and Asia allowed us to generate lively and compelling discussions and facilitated knowledge and best practices exchange among panelists. The involvement of experts from different geographical areas with different level of technologies and regulations provided us with input for the blueprint that is under development in our project. This included that in terms of later deployment of teleoperation technology, it is advised to take it one step at a time, starting with deployment in less complex operational design domains such as valet parking or small confined area’s in a port environment, allowing the technology to evolve based on these actual usages to latter tackle more complex ODD deployments. Another key message was that both teleoperation and automation technologies are intrinsically complementing each other and are equally important CCAM technologies, instead of competing ones (as was more in the 5G-Blueprint project mindset in its early days) or technologies where the one is only the assistant function of the other (the way of looking at teleoperation by the projects that preceded 5G-Blueprint: just a solution for helping out a stranded autonomous vehicle).
All sessions were recorded and are available here below: