AutoTrailer – Factory Logistics in the 5G Campus Network

As part of a three-year research project between 2019 and 2022, m3connect explored the application possibilities of an intelligent factory in the logistics domain in collaboration with three Bavarian partner companies and supported by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development, and Energy. Under the project name “Autonomous and Connected Logistics,” autonomous transport systems and mobile devices were tested under real conditions in a 5G campus network at the BMW Group Dingolfing plant.

To facilitate this, m3connect installed a private mobile network covering roughly 25,000 square meters at the Dingolfing site. This network ensures wireless communication for the AutoTrailer, an autonomous vehicle manufactured by Stäubli WFT. Instead of traditional tractor trailers, the AutoTrailer autonomously transports arriving containers within the factory approximately 500 meters to the dock gates at the shipping area. After being loaded with spare parts, the trailer transports the loaded container to a collection point, preparing it for shipment.

Under the project, other digitization concepts were integrated in addition to connecting to the transport assignment system. Employees were able to communicate directly with the autonomous vehicle via mobile devices on the parking lot. Test drive data was also transmitted and processed via the private mobile network into the cloud. Through the 5G infrastructure, monitoring and evaluation concepts were implemented to assess the performance of the transport system.

Productive tests of logistics applications in 5G campus networks provide a substantial insight into the potential of 5G in industrial settings. Particularly, the ability to track the real-time spatial positioning of network participants creates the opportunity to comprehensively evaluate the productivity of autonomous logistics vehicles.

“We used exclusively OpenRAN hardware and software in this research project. This standard guarantees us the ability to modularly and manufacturer-independently expand and scale the private 5G mobile network. As ORAN products were in the early stages of technological development during the project timeline, we faced some stability issues that we were able to largely overcome throughout the project. The technological maturity of 5G ORAN networks will soon reliably meet industrial SLAs.” – Justin Eichenlaub, Head of Cellular Solutions, m3connect

Private 5G mobile networks are a central component on the path to a fully connected production, particularly contributing to comprehensive and robust machine communication in extensive logistics areas. The ability to operate these networks independently and integrate them into existing industrial networks allows for maximum protection of sensitive and mission-critical data and reduces dependencies on external suppliers.

m3connect conducted this subproject in collaboration with partners Accelleran, a manufacturer of RAN software, and Benetel, a provider of RAN hardware


AutoTrailer moves trucks autonomously (11/2018)

© Copyright BMW GROUP



From WLAN pioneer to market leader. Since 2001, m3connect has evolved into one of the largest Wireless Service Providers in Europe, with offices in Aachen, Karlsruhe, Munich, San Francisco, Sibenik (Croatia), and the United Arab Emirates. Globally, m3connect serves roughly 13,000 locations for its customers in over 23 countries and, as a visionary in cloud technologies for more than 20 years, continues to expand its in-house platform. As a technology leader, m3connect provides wireless, best-in-class internet connectivity with flexible design. Utilizing state-of-the-art technologies like WLAN, private LTE, and 5G, m3connect creates innovative software solutions such as SD-WAN and various digital applications. Its range of services includes digital signage, guest infotainment systems, VoIP, VoD, and location-based services. m3connect is also a platform developer and integrates its solutions into the existing processes of its customers.


The Belgian company Accelleran, based in Antwerp, offers OpenRAN software solutions for operators of 5G and private LTE networks. With Accelleran’s unique software architecture, customers can leverage the extensive potential of software-defined networks, network virtualization, and RAN intelligence to manage private, public, and neutral-host networks optimally. Accelleran’s dRAX system provides proven container-based software components to implement applications with multi-vendor, intelligent, and disaggregated OpenRAN elements based on leading standards such as the O-RAN Alliance. www.accelleran.de


Benetel meets the current requirements of the rapidly advancing digital transformation by providing leading-edge radio solutions for disaggregated 5G-RAN and 4G LTE Small Cells. By producing radios and related services that support the principle of openness, Benetel consistently delivers reliable mobile connectivity in all locations and weather conditions. Benetel is an Irish company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.


Druid Software develops software core solutions for private mobile networks. Since 2000, Druid has become the global market leader for private 5G-SA (standalone) and 4G LTE solutions.