Canton has officially begun operating the city’s first 5G-capable bus route, which went into service on Monday, May 13.
According to an announcement by the Guangzhou Traffic Bureau, the 563 bus route is now equipped with 5G technology, making it the first route in Guangzhou to utilize the latest generation in cellular technology.
The 5G fleet will cover the entire 563 route, which runs from Luo Chong Wei in Baiyu district to Taihe Minying Science and Technology Park, covering 30.9 kilometers and 41 stations.
With a 5G network installed on these public buses, passengers can enjoy internet speeds over 10 times faster than the current 4G network just by scanning one of the 5G QR codes inside the bus. (Currently, only a handful of smartphone models have 5G capabilities, including some of the newest releases by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo).
Image via 广州交通/WeChat
But beyond ultra-high-speed gaming and video streaming for bus riders, 5G is expected to increase the level of safety on the roads, with the use of 5G-powered high-definition surveillance cameras and an intelligent maintenance system.
The surveillance cameras are said to use high-definition video data in real-time to analyze the driver’s behavior, in an effort to promote safe practices while navigating the roads, ultimately reducing the safety risk for all parties. 5G is also expected to raise the efficiency of the public vehicles, relying on the technology to monitor data related to the bus’ overall condition.
According to the Guangzhou Traffic Bureau, these public vehicles will also have VR capabilities. For example, if the bus has a technical issue along a route, the maintenance staff can put on VR glasses, which will transmit a live feed to a specialist who is capable of giving the staff instructions on how to fix the problem. Also, in the case of an incident occurring on the bus, the driver can patch through to the 5G command center which will transmit a 4K definition feed to a hospital, so critical care instructions can be given to the bus driver.
According to CGTN, some of Guangzhou’s city landmarks and important industrial parks already have 5G coverage. Meanwhile, Shenzhen’s Free Trade Zone in Qianhai and Shekou Area became the first FTZ in China to deploy 5G technology.
It appears to only be a matter of time before the breakthrough technology becomes a facet of your daily life.
Update (May 14, 2019 5:13PM CST): This article has been edited to reflect that only a handful of smartphones have 5G capabilities at this time.
[Cover image via 广州交通/WeChat]