Testbeds & trials

Smart Junctions 5G

  • Started on 1 Aug 2020

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  • Total project value: £2,336,392
  • DCMS funding: £1,160,778
  • Project location: North West

Smart Junctions Header

The aim of the project is to deliver AI traffic control systems to reduce congestion and pollution as well as improving productivity by cutting waiting times at traffic signals. The project aims to use a 5G small cell networks to decrease infrastructure costs for the connection of sensors at every junction, removing the need to mount hardware onto buildings in district centre locations as well as supporting connected bus projects and other mobility based public services. This project fosters innovation in the telecoms using open architectures and a new network deployment approach that allows for new domestic SMEs to contribute.

Peter Mildon, Vivacity COO, said:
Vivacity are delighted to be continuing our collaboration with TfGM on developing our Smart Junctions product. Small Cell 5G technology offers the perfect solution to our need for low latency communications between our sensors and junction control algorithms, making this a compelling proposition in its own right. Beyond the junction, the provision of 5G connectivity within a city centre offers opportunities to both Public and Private sector.

We are looking forward to working with Weaver Labs, a new company formed from the team who were core contributors in delivering the UK’s first 5G pre-standards compliant test-bed at King’s College London. We first worked with this team in 2018, where Vivacity provided our sensors as a test use case for the 5G network that was demonstrated.

Peter Mildon, Vivacity COO

More about this project

Smart Junctions 5G (SJ5G) uses a private 5G network to enhance the Vivacity Labs’ Smart Junction Project - an AI-based traffic signal optimisation system, currently being deployed in Manchester, which has already shown to cut waiting times at traffic signals significantly.

By using a 5G small cell network we are decreasing infrastructure cost for the connection of the sensors at every junction. Critically, the system requires low-latency communications to achieve its goal - making small cell 5G the perfect technology to deliver this saving.

Following advancements in open architectures for virtualized networks, SJ5G implements an innovative deployment approach that allows for new players to contribute with network densification, maximising the social value created by digital infrastructure.

For SJ5G, Weaver Labs has designed and deployed a cloud-native 5G private network with the necessary governance, security and service layer components to integrate into existing 5G public networks. This solution addresses the core technical and commercial aspects of 5G, including

  • Interoperability between hardware and software
  • Heterogeneous networks addressing convergence of technologies
  • Openness and diversity in the telecoms supply chain
  • Integration of neutral host networks, and extension of public networks into private

Transport for Greater Manchester, an existing project partner for the Smart Junctions product with a non-5G deployment of the system already operating in Manchester, made them the ideal partner for the trial deployment of Smart Junctions 5G. TfGM are exploring further benefits of adding 5G to the product, to the public sector and beyond, with benefits including,

  • Removing the need to mount hardware onto buildings in district centre locations, making small cell networks more cost effective to deploy
  • Enabling 5G-connected vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, supporting connected bus projects and other mobility based public services
  • Providing public Wi-Fi at minimal marginal cost
  • Providing a new business case to promote capital investment into small cell network, by incentivising the public sector to contribute with connectivity assets, which could be rented for use by Mobile Network Operators
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