Using 5G to make city streets safer

Wednesday, 11 September, 2019

Using 5G to make city streets safer

Verizon is working with Mcity at the University of Michigan to advance transportation safety and shape the future of autonomous vehicles and smart cities using 5G.

The Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network is now live at the Mcity Test Facility where the company is testing various 5G solutions designed to boost pedestrian safety and avoid car accidents.

This includes installing 5G-connected cameras at every intersection inside the test track to help identify traffic and pedestrian patterns to prevent collisions.

While connected cars have sensors that can ‘talk’ to each other to help avoid accidents, cameras connecting to traffic light signals can help protect people walking or biking.

“We’ve installed signal controllers at the intersections within Mcity that provide signal phase and timing data to the 5G network,” said Eric Raamot, Chief Technology Officer at Econolite.

“With 5G, we can help drivers see things before the human eye can register, and prevent collisions by changing the traffic signals when a safety risk is imminent.”

This is all made possible through several key components of 5G service — high bandwidth, low latency and the ability to connect hundreds of devices in a relatively small area.

If each vehicle passing through an intersection is able to relay and receive information from other vehicles and streetlight cameras, that information can be used to notify cars when lights turn red or vehicles ahead come to a sudden stop.

The Mcity Test Facility sits on a 32-acre site on U-M’s North Campus Research Complex, with more than 16 acres of roads and traffic infrastructure.

The full-scale outdoor laboratory simulates the broad range of complexities vehicles encounter in urban and suburban environments.

Image courtesy Verizon.

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