Smart roads: Maximizing road safety and business growth with 5G

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

5G technologies are a key component to implementing smart roads. In this blog you will find Microsoft’s vision for smarter, safer roads and how they drive value from a business perspective. You can also learn how Microsoft thinks about smart roads from a technical perspective in a section that explores how the combination of 5G technology, edge devices, and the cloud create a new application paradigm.


A vision for smarter, safer roads


Every year millions of people are seriously and permanently injured in motor vehicle crashes. In many cases, these deaths and injuries could be prevented if drivers were alerted to various hazards like road conditions, obstacles, and traffic congestion. 


While steps can be taken to improve the safety of cars, vehicles are only half of the equation. Cars are only as safe as the roads they drive on. That’s why it’s just as important to augment road infrastructure to provide the information drivers need to make informed decisions as quickly as possible so they can react to life-threatening situations as soon as they arise.


Implementing smarter road infrastructure will not just help prevent accidents, but also lead to increased business revenue and profit as roads become safer and more frequently used, and the experience becomes more enjoyable for all. Thus, smart roads not only benefit drivers, but also deliver value to private highway owners (who develop the highways) and concessionaire companies (who often build, manage, maintain, and monetize the highways). At a high level, the value drivers for smart roads extend across four areas: 

  1. Increasing traffic volume 
  2. Increasing toll rates 
  3. Procuring more concessions 
  4. Providing traffic information to drivers via apps 




The key to implementing a successful smart road is connectivity. Roads cover vast geographies and serve a high volume of vehicles. And in the case of improving highway safety, smart roads require exceptional speed and reliability. A smart road built with 5G connectivity enables reliable, near-instant detection of collisions, traffic jams, dropped objects, and other risks that could endanger drivers. Adopting 5G for one use case also unlocks other possibilities that rely on real-time, mission-critical connectivity now, and in the future.


At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to 5G technology. 5G is not just a new network standard—it is a technological breakthrough helping to create a new application paradigm that empowers organizations to solve complex problems with network-intelligent applications.


To learn more about the business value behind smart roads, request to download our smart roads business case document, which explores the use case, value drivers, technology, and total cost of ownership in more detail.


The combination of 5G technology, edge devices, and the cloud create a new application paradigm


At the heart of smart roads are modern connected applications that require higher network capacity and speed, ultra-reliability, and low latency to support mission-critical functions in real time. The impressive connectivity of 5G technology enables intelligence at the edge, powering these applications with instant adaptability to adjust to changing conditions in real-time while unlocking innovation at scale as the applications include more devices across broad environments like highways.


While 5G provides impressive connectivity, it’s only one side of the equation. Smart roads depend on significant compute power to support the analytics required to derive insights from all the collected data. This computing can occur either in the cloud, or closer to the source—referred to as “the edge.”


Edge devices are critical to enabling low-latency communications, shaving off milliseconds of delay that could help save lives. With a cloud backend, data from different roads and highways can be aggregated together to improve the AI models at the edge and identify deeper insights that affect your entire infrastructure.


To help implement smart roads today, Microsoft has developed a Smart Roads Technical Design and Architecture Guide, which walks through the key considerations and components of the application infrastructure, application architecture, and network architecture that are all a part of our smart roads vision.


The guide also provides information to help you familiarize yourself with the concepts and components of 5G networking and edge computing. You’ll be able to see different options and recommendations for how to approach those technologies based on the needs of your unique infrastructure. Additionally, the document provides an overview of the road-specific devices, including cameras and sensors, needed for smart roads today.


Request to download the technical guide to learn more about the design and architecture. 


It’s time to get started with 5G


The vision for smart roads is here, and Microsoft has resources that can help you get started on building modern connected applications using 5G, edge computing, and the cloud today. You can use the links below to learn more about smart roads and other use cases, access developer resources, or connect with a Microsoft representative.


Learn more about how 5G is opening up new opportunities for smart roads and airports

Request to download the business case and technical design guide for deeper understanding of the value drivers and technical approach for smart roads and airports

Learn more about our vision for 5G in a blog post by Microsoft Executive Vice President Jason Zander (available 2/27)


Read more about how to create your own modern connected application using the solution accelerator (available 2/27) and upskill with the 5G Cloud Skills Challenge

Sign up to participate in AI Ops Fundamental skills challenge to learn more about the AI technology embedded in Azure’s AI Ops Services

Build your own Private 5G network with the 5G Starter Kit


Connect with a Microsoft expert to get started with a proof of concept or to learn about total cost of ownership for 5G use cases

Sign up for news and updates on 5G Modern Connected Applications

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