ZIM Innovation Network for the Use of 5G Technology in Construction Sites

Logos of project participants   Graphic: Road with construction vehicles and radio mast Copyright: © ISAC

It will be impossible to imagine the roads of the future without digitization - right from the start! Already during the construction process, there are many opportunities for optimization through new technologies. Together with other partner companies, the Institute of Highway Engineering at RWTH Aachen University is therefore a proud part of the innovation network 5G4Construction. Together, we have set ourselves the goal of developing new projects around the use of 5G technology in construction sites as part of the Central Innovation Program for SMEs. Both our Road Construction department and the Traffic Engineering department are involved in this.

With the help of 5G technologies, the highest requirements for latency, reliability, availability and security of communication networks can be met. Challenges such as patchy radio coverage on the construction site, logistical coordination, industrial accidents or the shortage of skilled workers can thus be specifically counteracted in the future.

All the market players involved are currently showing a high level of interest in 5G campus networks, which, as a self-contained system, bring the benefits of 5G to bear in areas where regular radio network coverage is not available or does not meet the requirements for data security and the company's own options for exerting influence. Estimates show a potential for 5,000 to 10,000 5G campus networks in Germany in the period up to 2025, with a majority of the networks being deployed at SMEs. Consequently, 5G offers huge market potential in the future, especially in the construction industry with many interlocking activities and stakeholders.

This is precisely where the planned 5G4Construction innovation network comes in: Within the network, future tasks such as the digitization and networking of the entire construction site are to be driven forward and holistic approaches to solutions developed. In order to realize this vision, however, some fundamental development work still needs to be done. This is precisely what is to be supported by the ZIM program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

The planned ZIM innovation network focuses on synergy effects between KMU and research institutions along the entire value chain - from planning, data collection and evaluation to the application of the technology in machines, tools or the entire construction site.