Inside the AT&T Foundry: Connectivity and Autonomous Vehicles

September 21, 2017
By Julius Mueller

Positioned at the epicenter of where innovation and technology converge, the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, California is uniquely equipped with experts leading the way. From augmented and virtual reality to Quantum Networking to the future of autonomous vehicles, the AT&T Foundry has its finger on the pulse of what’s to come.

Julius Mueller, a project lead and software developer at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, is here to tell us more.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently evaluating new technologies for AT&T and analyzing their applicability within AT&T. I do this through defining new business models and prototyping new ideas in the scope of connectivity management, resource control and 4G/5G mobile broadband network architectures for connected/autonomous cars, AR/VR, drones and multimedia services.  Outside of the Foundry, I’m a board member of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA).  5GAA is a cross-industry consortium.  More than 50 international member companies represent stakeholder groups from automotive and telecommunication industries.  The consortium comes together to address the future of connected mobility, smart cities and intelligent transportation.

Why is 5GAA so important today?

Advanced sensing, communication and computing technologies emerge within new vehicle product lines of connected and/or autonomous vehicles today.  In parallel, AT&T is undergoing network transformation, namely AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo, through Network-Function-Virtualization (NFV), Software-Defined-Networks (SDN) and edge computing.  This technology shift in the network creates greater flexibility for service deployment and network management, as well as lower latencies and higher performant data rates.  The AT&T 5G trials in Austin, Texas provide a first look at what the future might look like.  Connectivity is an integral piece of autonomous vehicles.

What excites you most?

There are multiple aspects that excite me.  Being part of the international 5GAA consortium and sharing the goal to make car traffic more secure and efficient is something I’m passionate about.  From helping to save lives in the transportation system and pushing state-of-the-art technologies even further to enhancing customer safety and experience. It all excites me.  I look forward to understanding new connectivity requirements from car-OEMs on autonomous and connected vehicles as well as emerging industry trends.

Have you always had an interest in the future of autonomous vehicles?

I’ve always had a keen interest in the connectivity part of autonomous vehicles.  Think about when you’re stopped at a red light without cross traffic.  You might wonder, “Why can’t the traffic light sense what’s happening and make traffic flow more fluidly?” or “Why don’t we have display warnings when emergency vehicles are approaching or emergency notifications of accidents ahead?”  Those questions are what keep me coming back for more.

What goals do you have for your work with 5GAA?

I hope to continue to derive use cases and business models from the automotive industry.  I plan to address the needs of connectivity management to resource control with the help of 4G/5G mobile broadband network architectures.  This helps the outstanding mobile network of AT&T stay ahead of the game for customers and vehicles when it comes to connectivity requirements.

What do you love most about coming to work every day?

What I love most is the great knowledge exchange and collaborative work with very smart and highly skilled people.  AT&T gives me the availability and flexibility to realize new ideas, challenge the status quo and develop innovative solutions by validating new approaches, concepts and innovative technologies. 

Julius Mueller is a software developer and project lead at the Palo Alto AT&T Foundry.  Julius focuses on connectivity management, resource control and 4G/5G mobile broadband network architectures. He holds a PhD degree that he received in Berlin, Germany.

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