Everything in the tech world is ablaze with the intended 5G technology set to roll out shortly. In addition to the advantages for the everyday user, 5G could have a substantial impact on the operation of smart cities. A smart city refers to an urban area that utilizes numerous types of electronic data sensors to supply information then used to manage assets and resources efficiently.
The obvious benefit of 5G is its forecasted speed, with download speeds of 4.5 gigabits per second and data transmission swiftness of 1.4 gigabits per second. In other words, you can download a two hour fil in roughly 17 seconds. While downloading movies won’t aid a smart city, the speed at which 5G can accomplish things is certainly an important factor.
Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications is an added feature to 5G that will deliver direct communications between cars and surrounding smart objects within a town’s infrastructure. The C-V2X communication would permit traffic lights to send alerts to vehicles about pedestrians, warn vehicles about poor weather conditions, and any other risks on the road–all without use of a cell tower.
Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is currently being tested in smart cities and roadway projects in the United States. Both the DSRC and C-V2X technologies are similar in WiFi bandwidth, but with the addition of 5G, C-V2X offers much more.
Jim Misener, Qualcomm’s senior director for technical standards, expresses the main advantage of the technology is reliability. 5G holds stronger error correction and can send messages far faster than current technologies. To demonstrate the speed of C-V2X, Qualcomm put on a demonstration at the CES 2019 showcasing how two vehicles coming into the same intersection would be relayed to the drivers. The one demonstration vehicle was a truck that was warned about a motorcycle driver ahead and prompted the driver to stop the car and prevent a crash.
Moving forward, V2X communications will hopefully evolve where they can automatically brake to prevent accidents. However, C-V2X communications can also offer solutions to municipal infrastructures.
A spokesperson for Qualcomm says, “You can use it to figure out intent determination, such as what a pedestrian is likely to do by using a camera at an intersection and sending the image directly to an approaching car.”
The main push for C-V2X is to make smart cities safer, lower traffic congestion, and as a result lower emissions. Lani Ingram, Verizon’s VP of smart communities says, “It’s also about safety, video analytics, gunshot detection, cyber capabilities, and improving operational efficiencies.”