VTT has announced that its 5G-Safe project explores the possibilities of using the 5G mobile network to improve road safety.

The company is part of Finland’s innovation system and will partner with organisations including Finnish Meteorological Institute and Destia and Unikie for the project.

5G-Safe project seeks to collect vast amount of sensor, video and radar data from on-road vehicles using the 5G mobile network.

It will mean that data can be processed to offer road weather services, carry out maintenance and control self-driving cars in real-time.

The project is part of the Challenge Finland competition and is being financed by Business Finland.

VTT senior scientist Tiia Ojanperä said: “The data can be collected automatically without the drivers needing to do anything themselves. The required technology can be installed at the factory.

“The data can also be processed and warnings sent to other road users by means of automated systems.”

“There is clearly a lot of interest in solutions and services that improve road safety on the global market.”

The 5G network and new data transmission solutions will allow real-time weather information and warnings to be sent directly to drivers’ satellite navigation devices so that a safer route can be selected.

5G technology offers an efficient way to collect information on the condition of roads and will alert road maintenance providers to issues such as snow build-up, potholes or fallen trees.

The technology can also positively impact self-driving cars by using real-time data to better control autonomous vehicles.

VTT’s self-driving car Martti successfully detected icy conditions and road obstacles during a trial.

Services developed during the 5G-Safe project have been tested in real-life environments, such as on the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s winter vehicle test track in Sodankylä, Lapland.

VTT is currently planning a follow-up project involving further development of vehicle solutions based on 5G technology.

Ojanperä added: “The new project will also include partners elsewhere in Europe. There is clearly a lot of interest in solutions and services that improve road safety on the global market as well.”