5G technology brings greater vehicle safety

Monday, 02 July, 2018

5G technology brings greater vehicle safety

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) is attempting to increase the safety of road users through new solutions and services that are enabled by 5G technology. The new safety solutions developed by VTT in cooperation with other businesses are related to road weather services, road maintenance, automated driving and real-time inter-vehicle transmission of 3D views.

VTT’s research partners include Destia, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and its commercial services, Kaltiot, SITOWISE and Unikie, as well as Nokia, among others.

“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,” said Tiia Ojanperä, leader of the 5G-Safe project at VTT.

The new vehicular network solutions and the local road weather and road safety services enable support for 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, Finland, 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 the optimisation of 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 for broadband transmission of information,” said 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,” explained Oiva Huuskonen, Development Manager 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 being used to seek new business opportunities for the companies involved.

Image: Martti, the robot car developed by VTT, is the first automated car to have driven fully autonomously on a real snow-covered road.

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