Project 5G-MOBIS Shows Potentials for 5G Data for Mobility and Traffic

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How can 5G mobile data be used in the mobility sector for improved traffic planning and control? Research Studios Austria, FG Studio iSPACE and the companies ANDATA and INVENIUM dealt with this question in the 5G-MOBIS project.

Improved possibilities in function and performance are promised by every new generation of mobile communications. This is also the case with 5G, which is currently being rolled out in Austria. As part of the WISS 2025 strategy, Innovation Salzburg and the State of Salzburg funded the 5G-MOBIS project to explore the possibilities of 5G in the transport sector. Now the project has come to a conclusion.

The project was intended to use 5G mobile communications technology to record passenger and traffic flows in a mobile cell unit so precisely that the resulting information can be used for traffic planning and traffic control. In theory, this has several advantages: For example, local providers could record and evaluate the flow of people using mobile phone data decentral. Smartphone apps do not access any data and data protection aspects are already solved in the design phase through clever local data preparation and abstraction of the data. The data will then continue to be under the sovereignty of local providers and detached from international cloud service providers. Such an approach could save very high costs compared to conventional traffic detection with traditional sensors.

The data basis for these investigations was provided by the company INVENIUM. INVENIUM is currently already the leading national provider of passenger flow analyses based on mobile phone data. As part of the project, the analysis options have been continuously improved.

"Intelligent intersection" thanks to intelligent use of data

The application of the 5G information on adaptive traffic control was contributed by the company ANDATA. For this purpose, the existing digital twin of the city of Hallein and its traffic flows was used to determine how precise the data in terms of temporal and spatial resolution must be prepared so that the detection and prediction of the traffic situation can be used for adaptive control of an "intelligent intersection". Specific procedures from ANDATA from the fields of AI and automated driving were used.

The iSPACE studio of the Research Studios Austria Forschungsgesellschaft (RSA FG) determined how the information from the mobile phone data can be used in traffic and spatial planning and prepared in compliance with data protection regulations. This included the analysis of passenger flows with different means of transport as well as of places of origin and destination in a regional context. Through the use of innovative methods of geoinformatics, mobile phone data in combination with statistical data could also be processed in compliance with data protection regulations and flexibly in terms of space and time. This enables a detailed view of traffic flows on different time scales and geographical levels. Among other things, this will enable improved planning of public transport to be realised.

Results invite further research

The project has shown that the basic idea works and that the tools developed in the project can be used in the context of "intelligent traffic control and planning". In practice, however, the mobile data on the current state of the art in 5G is not yet sufficient. This is mainly due to the fact that originally promised features of 5G were not made available by Asian technology providers in the desired forms. From a European perspective, it would therefore be welcome if more technological leeway were available again by regional stakeholders, as the project partners conclude.

Within the consortium, all tools will remain available and will be further refined to implement the specification for the necessary data and information for "intelligent traffic control". In this way, the research teams can introduce requirements and specifications at an early stage in the development of 6G, which is just beginning, and combine them with existing traffic detection methods in the best possible way.

With the help of Innovation Salzburg, a local network of researchers and regional companies was initiated, whose expertise lends itself to novel solutions in the mobility sector.

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