Vehicle to everything: leading the automotive world to 5G

Cars as we know them will not exist anymore in the near future. Instead we will see vehicles becoming part of a complex interconnected world. EIT Digital is committed to leverage the potentials of the future 5G network to accelerate the transition to digital cars and digital transportation. Therefore, the EIT Digital Doctoral School has opened a position for a three-year Industrial Doctorate in collaboration with the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) and Centro Ricerce Fiat (CRF).

The automotive industry is currently undergoing key technological transformations exploiting emerging communication networks redefining the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) application portfolio. Being informed and connected, vehicles are aware of the context in which they move, relying not only on their own sensors but being part of a complex interconnected world. Data are an essential component of a digital car and of a digital transportation environment, and they need to be transferred quickly and efficiently where they are needed as they are needed.


The enablers of inter- vehicular communication are technologies that can guarantee low latencies and direct device-to-device communication. ITS applications can be supported by several wireless communication technologies, each one with its own frequency range and specific features. Evaluating the performance of different network options for V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Infrastructure) communication that ensure optimal utilisation of resources is a prerequisite when designing and developing robust wireless networks for ITS applications. The emerging 5G technology could change the current scenario and broaden the options available.

According to Action Line Leader Digital Cities, Stéphane Péan this research will help to better understand and exploit the full potential of the forthcoming 5G technologies. "In the next decade, 5G is expected to have a great impact speeding up the deployment of connected cars and their integration in the urban metropolitan system through its advanced support of IoT networks."


The selected PhD student will investigate the potentials introduced by the 5G network in the automotive domain, identifying use cases and scenarios, and deriving requirements for the M(V)NO (Mobile -Virtual- Network Operator). Novel network virtualisation solutions need to be devised in order to address the requirements of the automotive use cases. This includes combination of inter-technology, like Wi-Fi and LTE, resource management and slicing solutions as well as the use of recent Mobile Edge Computing and Fog Computing advances. The proposed PhD programme will cover the following topics:

  • Roadmapping of 5G and identification of milestone relevant to the automotive field
  • Identification of classes of data and their relative transmission requirements
  • Assessing mesh networks created by vehicles and how they can interface with 5G gateways
  • Identification of economics that can steer the market evolution one way or another

Expected Outcome

The research activity is expected to unveil the potentialities of 5G technology for the automotive domain, answering the following questions:

  • Where and how 5G is needed for the automotive vertical domain?
  • Which are the KPIs for each application (parameter/value)?
  • Which requirements are needed for the network operator?
  • Where and how can 5G be substituted by other wireless technologies?
  • How could 5G be integrated in vehicles?

The answers to the above questions will lead to solutions that should be experimentally validated in a lab environment and in a more realistic condition with the support of the industrial partner.


The PhD candidate will reside in the EIT Digital Doctoral Training Centre in Trento in Italy where the industrial partner CRF is co-located and the FBK labs are located. FBK plays an essential role in connecting the student and her work to the initiatives undertaken by Trento Province in setting the stage for self-driving cars by upgrading Trentino infrastructures. During the PhD, the student will spend a total of six months abroad. A possibility will be the EIT Digital node of Stockholm to access the Ericsson premises. The objective of this visit will be to allow the student to acquire competences in the field of technology transfer by closely working with one of the world's leading telecom equipment vendor. Another objective will be to make sure that the innovative solutions devised by the student could fit within the standardisation road map of an equipment provider.


  • Industrial partner: Centro Ricerche FIAT (CRF)
  • Academic/research partner: Fondazione Bruno Kessler
  • PhD title granted by: University of Trento plus EIT Certificate
  • Number of available PhD positions: 1
  • Duration: 3 years
  • This PhD will be funded by EIT Digital, FBK and CRF.


Those interested in applying should fill in the application form on the website of The University of Trento.

Please apply before August 31, 2017.

Read here the full position paper

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