The 5G network helps to collect a significant amount of on-road vehicle data. This information can serve various purposes, such as carrying out road maintenance, providing road weather services, and controlling self-driving cars. So, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of road accidents.
VTT’s two-year 5G-Safe project explored various possibilities of improving road safety with 5G. Using a fast 5G network, you can collect many sensors, video and radar data. Then, you can transmit information automatically in real-time without the driver’s help. Furthermore, when processing this data via intelligent systems, you can send warnings to road users, maintenance, and third parties.
Please Slow Down near Icy Corner
One of the key applications for vehicle data collection is local road weather services. In the future, you can send real-time weather information or warnings to drivers’ satellite navigation devices. So, drivers can use this information to follow a different route while driving. In the final pilot, the 5G-Safe project showed safety and weather-related services delivered to vehicles via the 5G test network. These services included traffic safety alerts, road weather forecasts, and weather alerts.
You can transmit some automated weather warnings via the current 4G networks. However, sending real-time video footage between vehicles needs considerably more network capacity and low latency. The 5G network can support both.
Crowdsourcing Information for Road Maintenance
5G emerging technology opens up new possibilities from the road maintenance perspective. This technology provides an efficient way to collect information on the road’s condition. The 5G-Safe project illustrated the usage of data to alert road maintenance providers about the range of issues that requires attention. For instance, snowy traffic signs, snow build-up on the roads, or potholes.
It is a great improvement on the current approach, where road maintenance contractors are responsible for information collection. If you can crowdsource monitoring to all road users, road maintenance contractors can work more efficiently and cut their costs. In addition, with comprehensive and reliable data, road contractors can prioritize urgent jobs.
Self-Driving Vehicles Expand their Territory
Though 5G technology helps human drivers, its impact on self-driving cars can be more revolutionary. You can use real-time data to better control self-driving cars and change their behavior as per observations. VTT’s 5-G safe self-driving car Martti has already tried these possibilities.
In the final pilot, Martti drove in automated mode on the test track utilizing its warnings and sensors. MEC service gave warnings to Martti by detecting obstacles on the road in real-time. In addition, Martti received alerts of slippery roads from the weather service. Based on these warnings, the robot car could plan its route to avoid dangerous stretches.
Precise information is important in challenging conditions and expands the potential uses of self-driving cars. Currently, people use self-driving cars mostly in areas with non-problematic weather conditions. Controlling self-driving cars in the Nordic climate needs accurate real-time data. The 5G technology allows it to collect data from areas beyond the cars’ sensors.
There is a huge interest in global services and solutions that improve road safety. So, many companies are currently planning further development of road safety solutions using 5G technology.