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Already deployed in Manchester, Smart Junctions use artificial intelligence to improve traffic signal control efficiency by reducing waiting times at signals, which in turn reduces journey times and cuts pollution. This system requires reliable, low-latency communications which is typically achieved through fibre-optics connections to every signal. This can be prohibitively expensive to deploy at scale.

The Smart Junctions 5G project which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) builds on the existing Smart Junctions network by using a secure 5G small-cell network on a new set of smart junctions in Salford. Using 5G communications for inter-signal communications means fewer fibre-optics connections are required, making the system more cost effective. The installation of a small-cell 5G network also offers additional benefits such as enabling vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, supporting other connected infrastructure and mobility-based public services, and reducing the need for mounting additional hardware on buildings.

The project will also explore a new business case to promote capital investment into small-cell networks by incentivising the public sector to contribute with connectivity assets, which could be rented for use by Mobile Network Operators, as well as contributing to network densification to maximise the social value potential of digital infrastructure.

Smart Junction sensor images

Smart junction camera images Smart junction camera images showing a bus ad car being identified

Smart Junctions 5G logos, including Vivacity TfGM and weaver labs