Vodafone and Ericsson have successfully tested safe sky corridors for drones using intelligent aspects of the mobile network.
The development, described by the companies as a technological breakthrough, is designed to allow professional drone operators, critical national infrastructure providers and emergency services to deliver medical, commercial and industrial supplies, safe in the knowledge that they will arrive at the correct destination on time while remaining connected to the mobile network.
In a proof-of-concept trial conducted at Vodafone’s 5G Mobility Lab in Aldenhoven, Germany, the companies used intelligence from the network to produce coverage maps, which enabled the drone to stay in areas with a good signal up in the air. They also collated anonymised mobile user information so the drone could avoid crowded areas down on the ground and did this using information obtained via Vodafone’s Network Exposure Layer.
In practice, this works by Vodafone providing these two key