5G and Transport Infrastructure

Maximising uptime is more important than ever. Post Brexit and Covid-19, transport systems across the UK are facing increasing pressure — and damage to the assets that underpin the sector, from roads to tracks, rolling stock to aircraft, not only impact individual profitability and overall GDP but also have major safety implications. 

Thankfully, 5G and IoT offer an increased level of visibility into traffic infrastructure. This can be used to quickly identify and resolve issues and will shift the industry towards a predictive maintenance model — reducing unexpected downtime, and unnecessary maintenance. Automated inspections and safety checks can play an important role here too: 5G-connected drones are able to monitor aircraft, airspace and train tracks. This enables a broad visualisation of infrastructure and is particularly crucial for minimising hazards, such as workers walking on rail tracks. 

Though IoT is not 5G dependent, 5G networks facilitate a greater density of sensors, enabling transport to move to a model whereby every vehicle could offer real-time identification and inspection of issues. The network’s increased quality of data is also significant. For example, 5G is able to provide ultra high-definition video feeds that can show the exact location and size of faults or concerns rather than just a binary notification.   While 5G’s high bandwidth also enables augmented and virtual reality support for engineers and maintenance workers, removing the need to send experts out to every site and speeding up the time it takes to perform maintenance activities.

Existing infrastructure across the country is under unprecedented pressure: to keep the nation moving the UK needs to digitalise, with 5G. 

How Could 5G Help to Manage Transport & Logistics Infrastructure?

Safety Checks, Inspections & Fault Detection

Damage to transport infrastructure can have significant safety implications. But 5G sensors, alongside ultra high definition camera feeds and drones, will enable more efficient monitoring and inspections. The reliable 5G network has robust connectivity and the ability to slice or deploy private networks; this allows checks and inspections to be conducted quickly and rigorously, creating confidence and security for transport operators and infrastructure owners. 

When will this be available? View our predicted timeline here.

Where has this been done?
Infrastructure Maintenance

It is more important than ever that transport providers and UK Plc maximise uptime. When the assets that underpin our systems are out of service, this has a detrimental impact economically. Maintenance activities, therefore, need to be conducted efficiently to ensure our trains, trams, buses, freight, private vehicles and aircraft are able to run. 5G’s high bandwidth can enable real-time access to data, as well as remote support through virtual and augmented reality; this reduces the need to send experts to site, saving time and unnecessary travel miles.

Where has this been done?
Predictive Maintenance

The continuous monitoring of transport infrastructure via 5G can enable scheduled and predictive maintenance. This reduces unplanned downtime and speeds up maintenance activities, which eliminates the need for unnecessary work and is good for the planet, too. 

When will this be available? View our predicted timeline here.

Where has this been done?

View Other Aspects of Transport & Logistics