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Live 360º multi-camera broadcast from autonomous car competition at Smart City Expo 2021 (CCMA)

Between November 16 and 18, 2021, it was held in Barcelona (within the Smart City

Expo 2021) a new edition of the Autonomous Driving Challenge, organized by Seat

(Volkswagen Group), and by the Institute of Industrial Robotics and Informatics (IRI-UPC).

The Autonomous Driving Challenge is an annual competition aimed at students with a technical background in robotics who are interested in developing the automotive technology of the future. Participants program fully automated driving functions and the necessary software architectures.

They work with 1:8 scale vehicles, developed exclusively for the competition. The cars

are equipped with a LIDAR sensor, ultrasound, cameras, a high-performance NVIDIA

graphics card, a CPU and ROS libraries.

1:8 scale vehicle on the road

Thanks to in-house developed software, the models should be able to drive themselves according to all rules and avoid obstacles.

This development is applicable and scalable to algorithms of real-life autonomous

driving and provides students with the ability to form part of the creation of that future concept of mobility.

The project began in February 2021, when the selected teams received the model

vehicle. The organization provided teaching materials, training sessions and technical talks by robotics experts to ensure that all participants have a common starting point.

The student teams spent nine months developing their software, which finally allowed cars to move autonomously.

On November 17 and 18, the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation (CCMA) made a

special 360º multi-camera live broadcast of the Autonomous Driving Challenge, which allowed users to move inside the circuit in a virtual way and see the tests in first person.

Autonomous Driving Challenge circuit.

In addition, users were able to enjoy a unique TV production carried out by the CCMA together with students from the Thau School in Barcelona, who acted as a team of production and were responsible for narrating and broadcasting the tests.

ViVIM Project

This CCMA production was framed in the activities of ViVIM project (computer Vision

for Multiplatform Immersive Video), which aims to create a new audiovisual format

based on omnidirectional video that can be seen in virtual reality devices and also in tablets, smartphones or SmartTV.

The ViVIM project focuses on creating a new audiovisual format based on

omnidirectional video. This new format will offer end users a consistent audiovisual

experience across virtual reality devices, smartphones, tablets and SmartTV. The

project works on live and pre-recorded video production and consists of adapt both, technology, and storytelling to deploy all the possibilities of immersive screens.

The project aims to impact in the ecosystem of content creators, distributors, and

consumers. The project consortium partners are i2Cat, as coordinator, the Vision Center for Computer (CVC), the CCMA, Visyon and Eurecat.

CCMA participation in the project, through TV3, focuses on the contribution of the

technical and artistic requirements, as well as the definition of the tools that will

enhance the creation, distribution, and consumption of content immersive and

interactive audiovisuals.

Likewise, TV3 collaborates in the coordination, deployment, and execution of the pilots of the project, open to public consumption, which help to analyze and measure the results with the objective of maximizing the impact in the audiovisual sector.

5G Technologies

The contribution and broadcast of the event was done using 5G network, with the

collaboration of Vodafone, which provided the communication equipment and 5G

coverage in the pavilion of the Smart City Expo where the competition took place.

This coverage made it possible to make the contribution from three smartphones that acted as mobile cameras. Likewise, the distribution of the content produced, as well as the 360º cameras, was also carried out through the 5G network to access the cloud, from where it was live broadcast to all users.

The technical deployment

For the realization of the 360º multi-camera live of the Autonomous Car Competition in the Smart City, a technical deployment was designed based on the technology used in remote productions and in mobile journalism (MOJO).

The deployment had a total of 8 cameras:

  • 3 smartphones equipped to broadcast via the 5G network.

  • 2 Panasonic robotic cameras connected with the TV realization area.

  • 1 overhead camera broadcasting through the 5G network.

  • 2 360º cameras connected to broadcast server.

Capturing ambient audio was planned, as well as microphones for the interviews on mobile phones.

Smartphones and 360º cameras to show the event.

All the audiovisual capture was centered on a production system using software based on vMIX that received the different audio and video signals through the 5G network and, in the case of robotic cameras, by direct video connection.

Likewise, from the vMIX production system, the reception of the different data and

accessory content required to always offer the textual and graphical information on the screen.

TV Production area connected to 5G (white box modem)

The stream signal was sent from vMIX to the central server system, from where, along with the stream signals from the two 360º cameras, the content was produced and streamed to the multi-camera endpoint in the cloud thanks to Vodafone's 5G network.

Users were able to access these contents through the portal that the CCMA deployed in Internet.

ViVIM web platform with the player app to enjoy live 360º multi-camera event.

All of this is possible thanks to the fact that, in the last two years, the evolution of

audiovisual production for external broadcasting has undergone very important in the way of producing live content, displacing the old systems from mobile production and broadcasting to new, much lighter production systems, flexible and quick to deploy, without compromising broadcast quality. 5G technologies are essential for the success of these remote productions and transmissions, where connectivity is a key parameter.


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