TomTom and Verizon were exhibiting at TC Disrupt 2019 in San Francisco last week, and they announced their plans to make intersections safer for emergency vehicles using 5G.
According to a NHTSA’s report (2014), each year in the U.S., there are about 6,500 accidents involving ambulances, nearly 60% of ambulance accidents and 70 % of firetruck accidents occur during the course of an emergency use.
TomTom and Verizon are partnering to help reduce emergency vehicles accidents at intersections using TomTom HD (High Definition) Maps and Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Working together at the Mcity Test Facility of the University of Michigan, both companies are testing how 5G-connected cars, traffic lights and cameras at intersections can improve pedestrian safety and prevent vehicle crashes.
5G enables communications with ultra-low latency, which is critical for sharing fast moving vehicles’ exact location in near real-time. TomTom delivers HD Maps that are accurate to the centimeter, enabling the exact localization of the vehicles in the streets. Combining both technologies, TomTom and Verizon will enable a real-time 3D visualization of an intersection, and the sharing of location coming from all “objects” (vehicles, pedestrians…) at the intersection with emergency vehicles in near real-time and with high accuracy.
The real time 3D visualization of the intersection (illustration above) is not displayed on a screen in the emergency vehicle where responders are busy driving fast, but it is known by the vehicle’s system and it allows to send alerts to all vehicles at an intersection to avoid collision.
For an ideal road deployment, it would be best if more vehicles were connected. However, at intersections, all vehicles can be localized by cameras.