China is building a 5G smart highway for autonomous cars and AI traffic monitoring

China is moving forward in the global “race to 5G,” as state-owned carrier China Mobile has announced (via Xinhua) that it’s already building the first 5G smart highway — a city-scale system of roads capable of supporting cellular network-coordinated transportation services. The infrastructure is currently under construction in Wuhan, the capital of China’s centrally located Hubei Province.

As the country’s largest telecommunications company, China Mobile plans to roll out a collection of 5G services on the highway, beginning with “smart toll stations” that could do away with current toll transponders and human operators. The carrier also plans to gather real-time traffic information and make AI-assisted predictions using the data, as well as supporting autonomous cars.