The safety of the road users is increased through new solutions and services that are enabled by the 5G technology. The new solutions developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in cooperation with businesses are related to road weather services, road maintenance, automated driving, and real-time inter-vehicle transmission of 3D views.
"The speed of the 5G network enables transmitting large 3D views between vehicles. As a result, the communication distances of car observations can be increased and data can be obtained from areas which the car's own sensors do not cover and are not in its view," says the leader of the 5G-Safe project, aiming for reducing road traffic accidents, Tiia Ojanperä at VTT.
The new vehicular network solutions and the local road weather and road safety services enable supporting drivers, road operators and the control systems of automated vehicles. They will require no action from motorists while driving – data will be gathered and warnings will be sent to users automatically.
The first piloting target was VTT's robot car Martti, which was used to test the ability to detect obstacles and ruts in the road. A demo implemented in Sodankylä was based on the data transmission of the LiDAR sensor on a 12.5 Hz frequency to the MEC server of VTT's 5G test network. There, the data was received by Unikie's algorithm, of which the warnings enabled optimising Martti's route according to its abilities.
"5G technology can also help improve the quality of weather services. Vehicle-to-vehicle video streaming is an exciting future scenario of the opportunities for broadband transmission of information," says Senior Research Scientist Timo Sukuvaara at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
5G technology also opens up new doors for road maintenance services. "Real-time communication and automatic analysis of data allow for faster and more reliable information about the state of the roads. The forecasts produced by the road weather model can be used in services related to driving conditions and safety," explains Development Manager Oiva Huuskonen at Destia.
The new solutions piloted under the 5G-Safe project are currently being finalised on the basis of the experiences and results gained so far. Scheduled for completion at the end of 2018, the project is also used to seek for new business opportunities for the companies involved.
In addition to VTT, the project's research partners include Destia, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and its commercial services, Kaltiot, SITOWISE, and Unikie. Also, Nokia, Sunit and VR Transpoint participate as in-kind partners. Support is also being provided by a technical advisory group including Bittium, Dynniq (the Netherlands), the Finnish Transport Agency, Telia and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).