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IMEC, an independent research centre in nano-electronics and digital technology, is actively working with the industry to stimulate ICT innovation. Self-driving vehicles, intelligent medical implants, remote holography, and other thrilling applications on the horizon share a common thread: they pose fresh challenges for our wired and wireless communication infrastructure. In response to these challenges, IMEC is actively developing cutting-edge connectivity technologies. This involves innovation in semiconductor processes spanning the entire system stack, encompassing materials, circuits, and algorithms in analogue and digital domains.

DEDICAT 6G helps IMEC to further advance its expertise in distributed computing in 5G networks, which is relevant for IMEC’s further research activities, and for its industrial partners. The knowledge and expertise gained from DEDICAT 6G will also be relevant to extend IMEC’s Smart Highway testbed capabilities with the concepts on distributed migratable computing in a B5G/6G context. IMEC’s Smart Highway testbed will be an essential asset for the research community and industrial partners. The infrastructure will position IMEC as an important hub in research and validation of V2X, 5G, distributed/edge computing and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) services and will help IMEC to set up future projects with industry.

IMEC and car platforms from TUC are used for the “Smart Highway” use case (UC4). The aim wass to set up and test the developed system and services in actual settings, coping with existing issues, addressing potentially various stakeholders’ requirements. The developed system was then fine-tuned with the feedback obtained during these experiments.

Figure 1 The location of the Smart Highway testbed in Antwerp (top) and snapshots of parts of the available equipment used for the UC4 demo

For UC4, IMEC has been tasked with a double role: a) to lead the use case and coordinate all partners towards a common output and b) through the use of the Smart Highway testbed prepare two demonstrations, one demonstrating the capabilities of the Collision Prediction Edge Application (CPEA) and one demonstrating a Vulnerable Road User (VRU) awareness app developed in the context of DEDICAT 6G which will help VRUs (e.g., bicycle/motorcycle drivers, pedestrians, etc.) to identify and avoid oncoming high-speed vehicles which could endanger their well-being through vehicular accidents.

Figure 2 Snapshot of the VRU awareness app demonstrating the capabilities of advanced warning to the user before the vehicle is in a dangerous position

Figure 3 Snapshot of the VRU awareness app warning the user when the vehicle is in a dangerous position

IMEC has promoted the DEDICAT 6G project in high-impact conferences and events and contributed to more than 3 publications per year on average.