News

2021 March 10 16:41

APM Terminals Barcelona applies 5G technology to improve traffic safety

The system is based on the application of connected car technology and industrial traffic safety. The information will be shared continuously and offer the position and trajectory of machinery, vehicles, and people in real time, enabling traffic coordination and warning drivers in the event of an accident risk. The pilot project is part of the 5G Barcelona initiative with Telefónica, APM Terminals and Mobile World Capital Barcelona as partners, according to the company's release.
 
This 5G Barcelona initiative, together with Telefónica, APM Terminals, and Mobile World Capital Barcelona are working on a pilot project to improve security in ports thanks to the use of 5G networks to connect cranes, vehicles, and people by merging different advanced communication and localisation technologies. The main objective of the project is to minimise the potential risk of collisions between mobile machinery and fixed elements, vehicles, and people in the container terminal.
 
The pilot test, which is based on technology of the C-V2X connected car and the low latency of 5G communications and Edge Computing, aims to turn APM Terminals Barcelona into a safer space for workers, thanks to a system that allows the coordination of port traffic and the implementation of advanced algorithms for accident traffic prevention. Through an alarm system, both crane drivers and trucks or pedestrian personnel will be warned about a potential collision against fixed and mobile elements and the system will in addition send an instant notification to a control centre in case of collision.
 
The development of the project involves the deployment of Telefónica's 5G coverage at the APM Terminals in the Port of Barcelona, the provision of 5G connectivity to Straddle Carrier cranes, trucks and terminal personnel, as well as an acoustic warning system for possible collisions.
 
The Straddle Carrier cranes will be equipped with an on-board unit capable of communicating via 5G and through C-V2X technology between them and with the rest of the actors. Trucks, truckers and terminal personnel will have a 5G smartphone, on which a C-V2X application will be installed. This way, the smartphone, becomes another piece of the V2X environment, as well as the lever for an easy transition towards a fleet of natively connected vehicles and direct inclusion of people in the ecosystem.
 
Fixed elements, such as streetlights, will also be signalled with C-V2X communications, thus communicating with the rest of the mobile actors in real time.
 
All the information communicated by the cranes, trucks and pedestrian personnel is sent securely to an application located geographically very close (Edge) to their place of consumption in order to offer immediate responses. This application, hosted on the Edge, has the intelligence to be able to coordinate this cooperative driving between the different actors - called intelligent cooperative transport system (C-ITS) - and also offers a dashboard to APM Terminals to visualise on a map the positions of each of the actors participating in the project. Obtaining a precise location is vital and for this reason a system has been developed to allow obtaining precise locations as close as centimetres.
 
This intelligent cooperative transport system is housed in the Edge Computing node of Telefónica's Virtual Data Centre (VDC) service, located in Barcelona, which consolidates the company's ability to offer very low latency services, along with the possibility of processing large amounts of information in real time to be able to extract high value data.
 
The project, which will be a reality as of next summer, has different phases of development and will use the facilities of the APM Terminals Barcelona as a test location. Depending on the results obtained, the system could be replicated and implemented in other ports to contribute the prevention of occupational accidents.
 
The three promoters of the project are Telefónica, APM Terminals and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, with the collaboration of FICOSA for the integration of the onboard unit C-V2X in the cranes, the development of the intelligent cooperative transport system that resides in the MEC and the implementation of the solution that allows offering precise locations. HARMAN also participates for the development of the C-V2X application on smartphones.
 
About APM Terminals

APM Terminals operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port networks. APM Terminals team of 21,000 industry professionals is focused on delivering the operational excellence and solutions businesses require to reach their potential. The 75 terminals in APM Terminals global network are operated exclusively by APM Terminals or together with a joint venture partner. This equates to handling around 250 vessel calls per day and 40 million TEUs per year.