Original Article Appears In TheSwissTimes.com

The local municipalities in Finland and Finnish businesses are planning to build the world’s smartest road. The road covers a 31km stretch of Route 51 between Karjaa and Siuntio towns in municipality of Inkoo. The municipality is on the south coast of Finland 54km west of Helsinki.

The project which will be developed as part of LuxTurrim5G project, will create a 5G network along the road by equipping each LED-light pole with antennas and base stations. 620 light poles are being planned to be installed on the road and they will be connected to network only in stages. The light poles will be erected with a 50 meter interval due to limited signal strength and high frequency of 5G small cells.

The municipality will work in collaboration with TammisaarenEnergia and Telefon and the 5G technology equipment will be provided by Nokia in the form of smart light poles. The mayor of Inkoo municipality Robert Nyman said that the project is still in infancy and there is not concrete plan formed yet. The delay in implementation is mainly due to the fact that the final decision for the project rests in the hands of State rather than municipality.

The project has not received any funding for the proposed project. Nyman expects that the basic infrastructure for the road would cost merely $2.26 million. One promising way to raise such funding is Business Finland which has nearly $57 million in its Smart Mobility Fund for Finland based businesses in transport sector.

If the project gets approved by the central government, the new 5G enabled road will enable testing of autonomous cars through the C-V2X platform (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) installed in the light poles. The C-V2X technology keeps the self-driving cars updated about the real time driving conditions and traffic on the road and the sensors and communication systems will be able to connect to other autonomous vehicles to ensure safe passage on the road.

The C-V2X platform also aid human drivers to drive safely by offering many functionalities. The smart road would also help in reducing moose collisions as the road witnessed 17 moose collisions and one fatality between the year 2012 and 2015. The 5G technology’s introduction will warn drivers and autonomous cars by big animal alerts if there is a wild creature nearby.

Finland’s legislation permits the presence of autonomous vehicles on public roads which makes it possible for several automakers to test their models on Finnish roads.