Imagine a warning system that could alert you of hazards ahead, such as a breakdown around a blind corner or a slippery patch of road, all in real time. That's the focus of a study Porsche is taking part in together with mapping company HERE Technologies and communications giant Vodafone.

For the study, hazards are detected using sensors and a forward facing camera, with information then processed by HERE's Live Sense SDK and HD map technology. Live Sense SDK uses information from the camera and sensors along with artificial intelligence to identify objects and changes in the behaviour of other road users or road conditions and identify hazards that can be passed to other road users via Vodafone's 5G network.

With Edge Computing technology, much of the data processing is handled close to where the hazard is detected. This saves time and enables data to be exchanged in real time, helped in part by the high speed of the 5G network. According to the researchers, there's a latency of less than ten milliseconds.

“5G and data processing on the roadside help to transmit hazard warnings without delay and make road traffic even safer,” Michael Reinartz, director of innovation at Vodafone Germany, said in a statement. “We are currently trialing this under everyday conditions.”

The system can also identify road objects and provide updates to drivers, which can be handy for a driver using a navigation system in an area he or she may not be familiar with. And since it detects road conditions in real time, it can provide the driver with information about any changes to the road that may not be available yet in the navigation system.

The trial is currently being conducted at a test site in Aldenhoven, Germany, and involves a Porsche Taycan along with other vehicles. The researchers plan to further optimize the system before expanding it to more test sites.