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.

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.

APM Terminals Barcelona Applies 5G Technology To Improve Traffic Safety
Image Credits: apmterminals.com

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.

“Transition towards a fleet of natively connected vehicles”

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.

Supporting APM Terminals Way of Working

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.

“Projects like this are part of our Way of Working at APM Terminals, in search of innovation and continuous improvement, and for operations in our terminal to be increasingly safe, more sustainable and more competitive”, shared Carlos Arias, Managing Director of APM Terminals Spanish Gateways.

Telefónica’s Innovation Manager, Mercedes Fernández, affirms that this same technology can also be implemented in other ports, airports and all kinds of industrial sites with a similar traffic of elements”. The goal is common: “to reduce the accident rate among workers, vehicles and goods”.

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.

Eduard Martín, CEO of 5G Barcelona, CIO and director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona 5G Program, points out: “We are very satisfied to be able to contribute to generating synergies between different actors in the industrial and technological sector, such as Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Telefónica and APM Terminals. We have a shared purpose for this pilot project to transcends and can be extended to other ports to improve 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.


5G Barcelona is a public-private initiative that works to position Barcelona and Catalonia as an innovative and open environment for the validation and adoption of 5G technologies and applications in a real-life environment.

The initiative will create synergies within the 5G ecosystem and offer an experimental infrastructure to test, prototype and implement new digital solutions. 5G Barcelona wants to stimulate and consolidate existing innovation in Barcelona and Catalonia, help attract foreign investment, promote new technology companies and generate a complete industry around 5G technology.

The initiative is promoted by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Barcelona City Council, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the i2CAT Foundation, CTTC, Atos and the UPC.


Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the world. It offers fixed and mobile connectivity services and a wide range of digital services for individuals and companies.

With 344 million customers, it operates in 14 countries in Europe and Latin America, where it has the largest fibre optic network. It offers its telecommunications services and digital solutions in more than 170 countries through strategic agreements with partners.

Reference: apmterminals.com

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