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12 December 2018

VTT utilises 5G network to improve road safety

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
VTT’s Technical Research Centre in Finland has carried out an experiment using the 5G mobile network to help improve road safety, control self-driving cars and assist road maintenance providers.  

The company says 5G networks and fast data transmission solutions can collect sensor, video and radar data from vehicles.

Public funding agency Business Finland subsidised the VTT's 5G-Safe project. It is part of the Challenge Finland competition, an initiative which explores the use of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies in industrial applications.

Tiia Ojanperä, senior scientist from VTT, says the data can be collected automatically which allows warnings to be sent out to other road users via automated systems.

"The new solutions give drivers access to highly localised data, such as warnings about icy conditions around the corner. Drivers can use the information to choose a different route or change the way they drive,” Ojanperä adds.

VTT used a see-through application, a concept enabled by 5G, to transmit real-time video footage or 3D views between vehicles.

“This increases safety, especially in poor weather conditions such as when visibility is obstructed by drifting snow," Ojanperä explains.

For better control of self-driving cars, VTT believes real-time data can be used to change the vehicle behaviour based on observations. Earlier this year, VTT upgraded its robot car Marilyn with capabilities which allow it to detect and navigate through fog and snow without stopping.

Ojanperä insists: “The new technology makes it possible to collect data from areas beyond the cars' own sensors.”

Additionally, the data can be used to alert road maintenance providers on issues such as snow build-up, potholes and fallen trees.

Other partners involved in 5G-Safe include the Finnish Meteorological Institute, road maintenance contractor Destia and software development firm Unikie.

Looking ahead, VTT says it intends to launch a follow-up 5G project with its industrial and academic partners in Finland, Germany, Romania, Turkey, Portugal and Israel during the second quarter of 2019.

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