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Telefónica, DGT and SEAT join forces to use IoT technology to increase cyclists’ safety on the road

Two use cases in which drones with a camera, an intelligent platform, and the connected car are able to communicate end-to-end via the Telefónica network

Today, in Becerril de la Sierra (Madrid), Telefónica, the Directorate General for Traffic (DGT) and SEAT have presented two cases in which IoT (Internet of Things) technology is used to increase road safety by helping to reduce accidents on Spanish roads.

The aim of the project is to show how an Internet of Things solution works in the early detection and warning of hazards to drivers travelling on a road with two specific cases that often cause situations of great danger:

  1. The presence of a cyclist riding along the same road.
  2. The existence of a stationary car on the road due to a breakdown or some other type of incident.

The presentation of the pilot was arranged against the backdrop of the arrival of the 18th stage of the Vuelta (Cycling Tour of Spain) and included the presence of Vicente Muñoz, Chief IoT Officer of Telefónica; Assitant Deputy Director for Mobility, General Directorate of Traffic (DGT); César de Marco, Head of 5G Connected Car at SEAT; and Pedro Delgado, former professional cyclist.

The Internet of Things system consists of a drone with a camera, which captures images of what is happening on the road and sends them in real time to a server that will soon be connected to the DGT 3.0 platform via Telefónica’s mobile network. The system processes the image, detects if there is a bicycle or a stationary vehicle on the road and sends an alert to the connected SEAT car.

The vehicle is connected to the network by a Telematic Control Unit (TCU), using C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) technology through software that enables communication between the vehicle’s internal network and its surroundings (the DGT 3.0 platform, signalling and infrastructure systems, other vehicles etc.).

The result is that the connected cars travelling on that road and in the same direction in which the obstacle has been detected receive an alert that warns them of the danger they are going to encounter further on. This means that the driver can anticipate the problem and make decisions, having time to react, thus avoiding possible accidents.

To accomplish this, the DGT has relied on Telefónica as its technological partner. Telefónica has provided the project with end-to-end connectivity and has opened its network so that third parties can deploy applications on the edge of the network, enabling critical communications with immediate response (low latency) such as traffic management. Given that to establish communication with connected cars it is essential that latencies are minimal, it is necessary to deploy 5G capabilities on the current network, specifically the capacity of the Edge Computing server, a large distributed brain that hosts the content and applications very close to where the user consumes them.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Telefónica and SEAT presented several use cases for connected cars and assisted driving via 5G in a real environment, in which sensors installed in various infrastructures of the city warned the connected cars of the presence of pedestrians, cyclists and stationary vehicles on the roads.

Please click here to view the full press release.


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