5G for Transportation

Smart transportation with public/private 5G networks

How 5G is transforming transporation industry?

The challenges of current transportation systems include the high cost of maintaining and operating and the need to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Additionally, these systems must be able to accommodate the growing number of passengers and cargo.

Smart transportation is a term used to describe a variety of different systems, ranging from intelligent traffic management to autonomous cars. These systems use technology to make transportation safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly.

Some examples of smart transportation are 

  • Intelligent transportation systems (ITS), which uses sensors and communication systems to manage traffic
  • Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which use sensors to help drivers avoid collisions
  • Autonomous vehicles, which use artificial intelligence and sensors to navigate without human input

Some technologies that can make transportation smarter are the internet of things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence, and 5G. These technologies can help make transportation more efficient and effective because they allow more data to be collected and processed in real-time. This can help vehicles communicate with each other and with infrastructure, making the system more efficient and safer.


For example, the internet of things can help connect vehicles and transportation systems to communicate with each other. This can help to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. In addition, big data can be used to analyze transportation data to identify trends and optimize routing. And artificial intelligence can be used to predict traffic congestion and recommend alternate routes.


5G will play a big role in transforming the transportation industry. With its ultra-low latency and high bandwidth, 5G can connect vehicles and infrastructure to create a smart, interconnected transportation system. In addition, 5G, with much higher bandwidth than current cellular networks, makes it better suited for quickly transmitting large amounts of data. This is important for things like video streaming and real-time updates from traffic sensors and other sources. 5G is also more reliable than current networks, meaning it will be less likely to drop connections or experience other interruptions.


Finally, 5G is expected to be much more energy efficient than earlier technologies, which could lead to longer battery life for devices used in ITS applications. This will make transportation safer, more efficient, and more sustainable.

5G for Connected Cars

A connected car is a car that is able to connect to the internet. This allows the car to communicate with other cars on the road and with infrastructure like traffic lights and stop signs. Connected cars can also receive updates and notifications about traffic conditions, accidents, and other disruptions. 5G provides faster data speeds and more reliable connections, which is important for connected cars, as they rely on transmitting large amounts of data quickly and reliably. In addition, with 5G, connected cars will be able to communicate with each other, and traffic management systems to optimize traffic flow and prevent accidents.


Deutsche Telekom (DT) and the BMW Group are using Personal-eSIM and MobilityConnect to link vehicle connectivity with the customer's mobile 5G network, and for the first time on a 5G-basis. MobilityConnect offers DT and BMW customers new, intelligent connectivity services in their vehicles. For EUR 9.95 per month, residential customers can add the MobilityConnect-option to an existing mobile communications contract in Germany. Similarly, in the US, T-Mobile postpaid customers can add Magenta Drive for BMW for $20 per month. More details are DT and BMW Connected Car Use Case.


AT&T and General Motors (GM) plan to make 5G connectivity available in select GM models in 2024. Network enhancements will include the following:

  • Improved roadway-centric coverage
  • Faster music and video downloads with higher quality
  • Faster, more reliable, and secure over-the-air software updates
  • Faster navigation, mapping, and voice services

When launched, GM will provide access for its strategic partners to connect over AT&T's 5G network, raising the bar for the interoperability and scale necessary to deliver future mobility services, such as e-commerce, smart city, and vehicle-to-electric grid. More details are AT&T and GM 5G connectivity for cars


5G for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Driving can be dangerous, especially on busy city streets or the highway. Nearly 1.3 million people die in car accidents yearly, many of which are due to driver error. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is a suite of technologies that helps drivers stay safe on the road. ADAS can include features like lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, and collision avoidance systems. These systems can help you avoid accidents and keep you and your passengers safe. 


Some of the ADAS features, such as automatic emergency braking, are in 30% of all cars, whereas 13% come standard with Lane Keeping As.+3jmcgAdaptive Cruise Control is standard on 11% of cars as per AAA. Automakers are making ADAS features standard on their future vehicles. On the other hand, it will still be a few years before vehicles are capable of autonomous driving.


Though ADAS is a critical part of the modern car, it's limited by the speed and bandwidth of 4G networks. 5G can improve ADAS in several ways. First, it can provide faster data transmission for real-time processing of video data and features like real-time map updates. Second, it can provide more reliable connections for vehicles traveling in close proximity to each other to avoid a collision. In short, 5G makes ADAS faster, smarter, and safer. Car manufacturers are already preparing for the switch to 5G.


5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and eight-member companies conducted a live trial of a new driver and pedestrian safety concept that allows near-real-time notification of roadway hazards through 5G and edge technologies in Blacksburg, Virginia (VA) and Turin, Italy. The connected car concept uses high-speed and edge computing technology to communicate with car sensors and pedestrian smartphones via a user-authorized mobile app—about traffic hazards, like accidents and road construction—for Pedestrian and in-vehicle driver safety and efficient navigation. More details are 5GAA - Connected Car using 5G and Edge Technologies in Blacksburg, Virginia (VA) and Turin, Italy


5G for Connected Seaports

Seaports are the backbone of global trade. They are the gateway through which most of the world's traded goods pass. To ensure that seaports maintain their efficiency and keep up with increased demands, they must constantly update their systems and processes.


One way they can do this is by implementing 5G technology, in conjunction with sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), advanced communications systems, and information and communication technologies (ICT) to make the movement of goods more efficient, reducing wait times and improving safety, i.e., transforming the ports into connected/smart seaports. 5G can help improve seaport operations by providing faster, more reliable connections between ports and the shipping industry. This will allow for better communication and collaboration between all parties involved in the shipment process, leading to a smoother, more efficient flow of goods.


Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP), one of the largest container terminal operators in South America with operations in Brazil’s Santos port, is advancing the digitization of its operations with the implementation of a private 5G networkThe dedicated network is being deployed using spectrum held by Brazilian mobile carrier TIM, with network equipment and solutions provided by Nokia. More details are Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP).


British Telecom (BT) will deploy a private network at the northeastern port of Tyne in Britain and is expected to go live later this year. The private 5G network will provide fast and low latency connectivity across the port’s facilities. The quayside operational optimization program and OCR container tracking are the two use cases prioritized for immediate deployment. Both the use cases will significantly enhance supply chain efficiency for the port of Tyne customers with the installation of black box monitoring devices on cranes and other materials handling equipment to record usage patterns and enable a detailed performance analysis for continuous improvement programs. The OCR container tracking application will inspect the condition of containers and monitor entry and exit to the port. More details are Port of Tyne.


5G for Connected Airports

Smart airports are those that are designed to be more efficient and less costly to operate. They typically have features like automated baggage handling systems, self-service check-in kiosks, and directional signage that help passengers get to their gates quickly.

Potential Disruption Risk to Aviation from 5G C-BAND - Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with key stakeholders in the aviation and wireless industries, has identified a series of steps that will continue to protect commercial air travel from disruption by 5G C-band interference while enabling leading operators to enhance 5G based service around certain airports. The agreed-phased approach requires operators of regional aircraft with radio altimeters most susceptible to interference to retrofit them with radio frequency filters by the end of 2022. At the same time, the FAA worked with wireless companies to identify airports around which their service can be enhanced with the least risk of disrupting flight schedules. Read recent updates on the FAA website.

Boingo launched a private network over the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The private cellular solution securely connects IoT devices at ORD and powers essential airport services. Prioritizing touchless experiences, ORD activated a virtual customer service center at its Traveler’s Aid Station that required a dedicated wireless network to facilitate communications between on-site passengers and remote support staff via a live video kiosk. More details are CBRS at ORD airport.

Ahead of the private cellular trend, in 2018, Boingo Wireless deployed a private LTE network on the CBRS band at Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to streamline airport operations. The private network was designed to operate with maximal radio resource utilization, expanding wireless coverage and capacity at DAL. Boingo networks leveraged CBRS's mid-band spectrum to deliver seamless and secure connectivity in dense, high-trafficked areas and is more cost-effective than networks relying on licensed spectrum. More details are CBRS at Dallas Love Field Airport.


5G for Connected Railways

A connected railway system is a railway management system that uses data from sensors and other sources to optimize traffic flow and increase rail operations' efficiency. It can operate without human input, monitor the condition of the trains and track, and make decisions about when to run trains and how to route them. 

Railways can use 5G technology to manage their trains and operations more effectively, improving punctuality and reducing congestion on the network. By coupling 5G with big data and the internet of things (IoT), railway operators will be able to gain a real-time understanding of how their networks are operating, allowing them to make better decisions about train timetabling, routing, and maintenance. Additionally, 5G can provide real-time information about track conditions and weather updates to keep passengers safe. This will have a positive impact on passengers, who will also see an improvement in punctuality and a reduction in delays.


Inquire about our "5G for transportation" research report for additional industry use cases.

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