5G gets support from EC, AI gets investments
A number of European countries signed agreements to establish cross-border 5G corridors for connected and automated driving, as part of a push to build “a better environment for the testing and deployment of 5G technology”.
In a statement, the European Commission (EC) announced new partnerships were signed at the Digital Day 2018 event held in Brussels today (10 April), building on existing agreements struck in 2017 between 27 member states to conduct cross-border 5G tests.
The latest agreements see Spain and Portugal signing a letter of intent to establish two joint corridors between Vigo and Porto, and Merida and Evora which will allow connected automated driving to be tested across borders. Meanwhile, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia are working together on a corridor between the cities of Sofia, Thessaloniki and Belgrade.
In addition, Italy and the three presidents of the Tyrol – Sudtirol – Trentino Euroregion also confirmed their intention to work with other interested member states on the development of the 5G corridor on the Brenner Pass motorway.
The EC said a pan-European network of corridors is now emerging with hundreds of kilometres of motorways, where tests will be conducted “up to the stage where a car can operate itself with a driver present under certain conditions”.
5G experiment area
Today’s announcement follows similar initiatives already in place between other member states. For example, France, Germany and Luxembourg have announced a joint corridor, as have Norway, Finland and Sweden, among others.
The EC said the establishment of 5G corridors made Europe “the biggest experiment area rolling out the 5G technology”, while also committing to support the efforts by helping to address issues around security, privacy and data governance.
In a speech, Andrus Ansip, EC VP, said he expected EU countries to agree on a new telecoms policy “that will help 5G become a reality” in the coming weeks, as part of the Digital Single Market Vision.
AI and VentureEU
Other highlights from the Digital Day 2018 event saw a declaration between 25 European countries to cooperate on artificial intelligence (AI) development.
This agreement will see member states work together on addressing important issues raised by AI, ensuring Europe’s competitiveness and research and deployment of the technology, as well as dealing with social, economic, ethical and legal questions.
In addition, the Commission and the European Investment Fund launched a pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU) to boost investment in “innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe”.
The fund aims to raise up to €2.1 billion in public and private investment.