West Midlands 5G is exploring how 5G-connected trams can create new possibilities for the public transport industry. 5G provides significantly faster, more efficient and more cost-effective network capacity, as well as the capability to host more smart devices, furthering the development of the ‘Internet of Things’. Trams collect a variety of valuable information, including CCTV footage and tram performance and maintenance data.
In an agile response to social distancing measures, Icomera and its newly acquired business unit, GoMedia, partnered with West Midlands 5G and West Midlands Metro to trial 5G-enabled video equipment across the region’s tram network. The increased bandwidth offered by 5G connectivity allows for the high-definition CCTV footage captured on the tram to be securely and remotely transferred to the Regional Transport Coordination Centre while the tram is in operation. This will provide many safety and comfort benefits to passengers, while helping to ensure that social distancing is always observed.
Chris Holmes, Programme Director at West Midlands 5G said: “The WM5G transport programme aims to support new products and services which are 5G enabled, improving operational efficiency, providing better connection to support expansion of services and to help provide a better traveller experience.”
Matthew Hack, Midland Metro Ltd.’s Head of Engineering: “Technology never stands still and 5G brings us new opportunities to serve our customers better and improve the way we deliver maintenance. There are huge benefits from being able to collect and process data in real time, enabling our “predict and prevent” maintenance strategy and offering enhanced levels of security and safety to the travelling public. We are excited to be collaborating with West Midlands 5G, Icomera and GoMedia in this project to further demonstrate the potential of 5G.”
Peter Kingsland, Icomera’s SVP for the UK said: “Icomera is excited to be working with West Midlands 5G, Midland Metro and our new colleagues GoMedia on this pioneering 5G transport initiative. The demonstration of real-time access to high definition video footage from the trams for key stakeholders in the West Midlands has shown the first tangible benefits of 5G in a mobility environment. There is no doubt that we have only scratched the surface and Icomera looks forward to helping unlock much more value from 5G for our transport customers.”