Road Traffic Monitoring with 5G


Our Researchers in Residence activity is part of our Academic Engagement Programme which develops new collaborations through research visits/residencies for university academics to spend time embedded within the Catapult teams to build stronger partnerships in the national innovation system and supporting the best environment for innovation. This project is being undertaken by Wei Liu from University of Sheffield and focuses on Virtual Sensing System via V2X Communications and looks into traffic monitoring with 5G.

Logo and Coat of Arms of the University of Sheffield

Current efforts in traffic and environment monitoring using on-road vehicle sensors focus on exchanging information acquired by each individual vehicle so that a complete picture of the whole environment can be formed and then shared with drivers.

This approach is limited by the accuracy of the acquired information by each vehicle and the quality of the sensors. For example, the radar for distance and speed detection carried by each vehicle can only give the best result it can provide and send this information to other vehicles which are interested in this piece of information.

Moreover, all these independently operated radar systems may cause serious interference to each other, further reducing the measurement accuracy of each system.

The only way to improve the performance in this approach is to install more advanced and therefore more expensive sensors on each vehicle.


The aim of this project is to assess the feasibility of overcoming these issues by connecting the radar systems carried by a group of neighbouring vehicles using 5G to form a single virtual radar with a significantly increased aperture and detection capability.

This method should provide a much better measurement result for the overall environment than can be achieved with the sharing of individual radar system outputs. It will focus on the uses of this virtual sensing system for possible tracking and localisation applications.