Cisco helps to usher in new era of full-sized driverless racing

Cisco’s intelligent networking technology was used to remotely control a full-size electric race car around the track at 200 km / h for the first time.

Held in partnership with DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) – the German Touring Car Championship – Schaeffler and Riedel Networks, the historic drive took place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on 2nd September 2021 The DTM Electric Demo raced around the 4326-meter track without a driver’s seat. Instead, the race car was driven remotely by DTM Trophy champion Tim Heinemann from a state-of-the-art simulator located 82 km from Graz.

“The extremely successful remote control of the DTM Electric Demo around the Red Bull Ring thrilled those present on the day of the race. Crucial to the success of the run was the speed and reliability of Cisco’s network technology, which allowed the transmission of signals carrying video, communications and remote control of the car at maximum speed of light with the highest possible reliability. Cisco is delighted to be a part of this event, as it demonstrates that technology has matured enough to turn reality into autonomous, autonomous and remote-controlled vehicles, ”said Rome Assad, Cisco’s vice president for the Middle East and Africa.

Unlike small radio-controlled vehicle toys, this sophisticated full-size electric car was created by DTM technicians in collaboration with project manager Schaeffer. Cisco provides the technology while Riedel Networks designs and builds the communications network.

Attempting to drive a full-size remotely connected and controlled race car around the track has never been tried safely and it is therefore essential to have a responsive and secure connection.

The car’s communication architecture has been specifically designed and implemented by Riedel Networks to be controlled by Cisco Software Defined Broadband Network (SD-WAN) and the Catalyst 8300 Edge Platform for Primary Direct Fiber Connection via MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label). Switching) connection. This is a fast and extremely reliable connection and as a result is popular with some Cisco customers to run selected applications in their Cisco SD-WAN architecture over MPLS.

Cisco Catalyst 8300 end platforms feature a multi-core architecture and powerful hardware-accelerated encryption capabilities that create a secure, high-performance, and reliable connection. This technology was crucial to ensure reliable data transmission with media availability (99.999%), which was needed between the car and the remote control of the simulator.

The architecture is also designed with on-site backup as a precaution in the rare event that an MPLS connection is lost. The built-in 5G connection using Cisco’s Catalyst Cellular Gateways can be turned on to maintain the connection. Under these circumstances, 5G over SD-WAN will become the main data transport with multi-gigabit connectivity up to 3.3 Gbps.

The Riedel network maintains a remote control connection, while allowing video streams from the car to the driver and from the driver to the pitman on the track. In addition, the network provides internal communications.

The success of the remote-controlled car underscores the capabilities of Cisco’s SD-WAN technology. It has the flexibility to use any combination of transport services to securely connect users to data and applications anywhere with an optimized experience.

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