Concept and Approach


5G-based Automotive-related services (i.e., Connected and Automated Mobility services) are a broad range of digital services in and around vehicles including both safety-related and other commercial services provided, enabled, or supported by 5G networks. The imminent rollout of 5G is expected to become a “game changer”. For the first time, mobile networks will offer a broad range of connectivity performances including gigabit speeds and mission critical reliability.

The prospect that 5G will be a unified multi-service platform, serving not only the traditional mobile broadband market but also enabling digital transformation in a number of vertical industries, is expected to result in the creation of unprecedented opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

It is expected that the economic and societal impact of connected mobility will be very significant, and that mobile communication systems such as 5G will play a central role in the future transport ecosystem. Indeed, the majority of the 5G-based Automotive-related services will require a totally reliable and safe guidance infrastructure, which will have to combine all available technologies: sensors (in vehicles and on the ground), high accuracy location, precise positioning, high definition mapping, converged AI on devices, at the edge and in the cloud, and, in particular high quality direct and network communications between all moving and fixed elements (vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, and road infra-structure). Functional redundancy and complementarity in the architecture will be necessary to be able to meet the demanding KPIs of such services (e.g., full automation, remote driving, etc.).

5G -IANA Concept & Approach

5G-IANA aims at providing an open 5G experimentation platform, on top of which third party experimenters (i.e., SMEs) in the Automotive-related 5G-PPP vertical will have the opportunity to develop, deploy and test their services. An Automotive Open Experimental Platform (AOEP) will be specified, as the whole set of hardware and software resources that provides the computing and communication/transport infrastructure as well as the management and orchestration components, coupled with an enhanced Network Applications Toolkit tailored to the Automotive sector. 5G-IANA will expose to experimenters secured and standardized APIs for facilitating all the different steps towards the production stage of a new service. 5G-IANA will target different virtualization technologies integrating different Management and Orchestration (MANO) frameworks for enabling the deployment of the end-to-end network services across different domains (vehicles, road infrastructure, MEC nodes and cloud resources). 5GIANA Network Applications toolkit will be linked with a new Automotive VNFs Repository including an extended list of ready to use open accessible Automotive-related VNFs and Network Applications templates, which will form a repository for SMEs to use and develop new applications.

Finally, 5G-IANA will develop a distributed AI/ML (DML) framework, which will provide functionalities for simplified management and orchestration of collections of AI/ML service components and will allow ML-based applications of OEMs and third parties to penetrate the Automotive world, due to its inherent privacy preserving nature. 5G-IANA will be demonstrated through seven Automotive-related use cases in two 5G SA testbeds. Moving beyond technological challenges, and exploiting input from the demonstration activities, 5G-IANA will perform a multi-stakeholder cost-benefit analysis that will identify and validate market conditions for innovative, yet sustainable business models supporting a long-term roadmap towards the pan-European deployment of 5G as key advanced Automotive services enabler.

5G-IANA Architecture

5G-IANA experimentation platform high-level design (AOEP). 

The proposed architecture aims to offer service providers mechanisms to easily design distributed intelligent services, which span from the remote cloud to the far-edge segment, and request their provisioning on top of 5G-enabled infrastructures. The platform is realized by four main building blocks:

  • Network Application Orchestration and Development: the entry point for service providers. It exposes functionalities for designing distributed services composed by Network Applications. This layer hosts also a catalogue of available Network Applications that can be used and chained to realize the desired service.
  • Slice Management and Resource Orchestration: this layer implements the functionalities for verifying the availability of a network slice instance suitable for supporting the operation of the vertical service. It also handles the orchestration of computational resources to be allocated to run the Network Applications.
  • Data Collection, Monitoring and Analytics: it realizes the collection of data from distributed data sources (i.e., Network Application, infrastructure hosts etc.) and provides analytics based on service-level policies to optimize the Lifecycle Management (LCM) operations.
  • DML Orchestration: provides explicit support for Machine Learning-oriented services, including Federated Learning (FL) primitives such as client selection and enhanced Life Cycle Management (LCM) e.g., drift management.

The platform provides service providers with the ability to wrap all data manipulation processes within Network Applications that can be re-used in broader service chains/graphs. The Network Application catalogue builds atop the Network Application Package construct. On the one side, the platform exposes this construct to service providers, allowing them to describe their service. On the other side, the platform interfaces both the 5G System and the available far-edge/UE-side resources/nodes so as to enable a series of Distributed Machine Learning Orchestration (DMLO) functional primitives.

5G-IANA Network Application

In 5G-IANA, a Network Application is defined as a virtual application that can be deployed in a 5G infrastructure and can use 5G services (e.g., connectivity, localization etc.). The Network Application concept extends the typical orchestration-oriented descriptors proposed in ETSI NFV (e.g., Virtual Network Function Descriptors – VNFDs and Network Service Descriptors – NSDs) through the specification of additional information that should facilitate the Network Application re-usage, customization, integration, and provisioning. Indeed, a Network Application can be composed of one or multiple Application Functions (AFs) or Network Functions (NFs) across different domains. On one hand, the AFs correspond to the Network Application components that implement the application logic; on the other hand, NFs implement those functionalities of the Network Applications that are related to networking and communication (e.g., ICT long-/short- distance communication functionalities).

To facilitate the Network Applications re-usage, the Network Applications Package specified in 5G-IANA includes service-level information such as the specification/documentation of supported interfaces to enable the sharing of the Network Applications and its composition with other Network Applications to build advanced vertical services, which result in a chain of multiple Network Applications. In addition, the Network Applications Package also includes information about:

  1. high-level QoS parameters that correspond to the main characteristics of the required 5G slice profile and available interfaces for service-chains composition, 
  2. 5G Core services and/or external services (e.g., AI-driven) integrated with the Network Applications for optimized orchestration decisions, 
  3. available interfaces that can be used to integrate the Network Applications in a more complex service chain, 
  4. test cases related scripts, target metrics and KPIs that enable the assessment of the Network Applications from a functional and performance perspective

Furthermore, the 5G-IANA project offers a set of Network Applications starter-kits that are baseline examples of different categories of Network Applications that third parties can re-use to develop their own vertical services/Network Applications. The starter-kits will be on-boarded into the Network Applications Toolkit catalogue and made accessible by third-party experimenters.