5G networks are perfect technology to serve as communications channel for vehicles trying to communicate with their environment (V2X – Vehicle to everything). There is a need to transfer information between RSUs (Road-Side Units) to vehicle OBUs (On-Board Units). Such information exchange can benefit drivers, pedestrians and traffic control. It can improve traffic safety and emergency services efficiency. Modern and future vehicles will also need support for advanced features like autonomous and remote driving as well as infotainment and augmented reality.
Figure 1: Future traffic management will be based on telecommunications between vehicles and road-side units. This can be very beneficial in emergency situations inside tunnels (photo: Peter Zidar)
Such innovative use of mobile networks introduces new challenges that are poorly addressed by previous generations of mobile networks. That is one of the reasons for upgrading these networks to 5G. The emerging 5G is improving data transfer rates, latency, QoS, security, reliability and service management. Therefore, 5G is in unique position to provide new and improved road safety features, provided by infrastructure, device manufacturers and third party application developers. In particular, 5G slicing can provide a network dedicated resources for V2X communications. These can also be used for road safety and emergency services.
Mobile network operators are in good position to host cloud based platform for independent application developers focusing on traffic safety and other automotive applications. The goal of European project 5G-IANA is to provide a prototype platform Automotive Open Experimental Platform (AOEP). The issues discovered during testing of this experimental platform will provide important data and guidance for future open automotive platforms operated by network operators.
Specific use cases tested in this experimental infrastructure will give Telekom Slovenije better understanding of requirements such applications have. Use Case 7 will investigate support for emergency vehicles approaching location of traffic accident inside tunnel located on country border. The planned solution will involve transfer of video and other infrastructure data to incoming emergency vehicle. Received information can be vital for better and faster rescue efforts and giving victims efficient help.
Author: Peter Zidar