More and more, intelligent transport systems (ITS) have received greater awareness and attention. This is especially so amid governments’ efforts to build smart cities and improve traffic. In this regard, 5G or fifth-generation mobile communications, can come in handy.
Globally, an increasing number of cities is eyeing intelligent transport systems to help solve various municipal issues, for example traffic jams and parking violations. Countries in EU as well as Asia – for the latter of which Singapore is an example – are already seeing ITS being deployed and implemented.
ITS relies on data generated by sensors from both vehicles and the road infrastructure to help drivers and cities make informed decisions. To ensure smooth transmission of the overwhelming amounts of data, existing wireless transmission technologies have become increasingly insufficient. 5G, which succeeds 4G (LTE, WiMAX) and 3G (UMTS) and promises data rates of 20 Gbps, can help in this regard.
According to a recent blog post by Lanner, the following are ways 5G can enhance ITS.
According to the post, with the rise of smart cities, these cities would be able to collect and share the data gathered from the potentially millions of connected sensors built into the city’s infrastructure, including intelligent transportation systems. “With the introduction of 5G wireless networks, ITS infrastructure could begin to further drive us toward the goal of truly intelligent cities with the utilization of ultra-low latency networks for real-time data sharing between both vehicles and transport infrastructure,” it said.
To be fully autonomous, cars need LIDAR, radars, cameras and other sensors all connected to a central system, for example ADAS. “In order for autonomous vehicles to reach speeds that make their use practical, they need to be able to detect other vehicles, transport infrastructure and pedestrians within enough time to be able to respond to any potential threats that may be encountered,” the post said. “5G networks have been proposed as one such solution to this problem as they would be able to deal with many times the traffic current networks can, leading on to our next point.”
According to the post, in order for traffic management systems to function efficiently, they need to be able to take into account all of the vehicles currently using the transportation system. “However, on busy highways and in congested cities this could mean collecting and processing data from potentially thousands of connected vehicles,” it said. “In order to cope with such high-demand, ITS traffic management systems could benefit from the increased capacity of 5G wireless networks.”
5G will also become essential for emergency services due to various reasons, the post said. “These include enabling emergency service professionals to integrate new technologies and services such as ambulances that are capable of high-definition video communication, computed tomography (CT) and X-ray scans and that would connect to both the emergency vehicle itself as well as to the hospital or emergency department that the ambulance was either dispatched from or on route to,” it said.
According to the post, 5G network infrastructure also promises to allow a much easier time when it comes to upgrading our technologies in the future. “While in the past this has been known to have been an often long and arduous process, thanks to a combination of enhanced connectivity, shared standards, and a focus on IoT and wireless communication, this will no longer be the case,” it said. “Providing smoother upgrade paths for future technologies also helps to provide stronger, up-to-date services such as security to protect both the intelligent transportation systems and the wireless networks themselves.”
Source: William Pao, a&s International