5G for a Better Tomorrow: Protecting Lives and the Environment in Riga and Turin

5GData solutions and IoTMobility
5G for a Better Tomorrow: Protecting Lives and the Environment in Riga and Turin

Riga and Turin to test and introduce automated drone technology for improved public safety

To promote public and environmental safety while equipping the Riga Municipal Police with the latest technology, Riga, together with the municipality of Turin and the support of telecommunications companies, is participating in the European Union pilot project “5G4LIVES”. The pilot sites are the popular recreational areas of Riga – Vecāķi and Kīšezers beaches, where the latest 5G technologies will be installed and automated drone flights will be introduced to the municipal police.

“Smart technologies and 5G connectivity are a strategically important part of Riga’s long-term development plan. 5G can be used in mobility, healthcare, education, arts, science and security. Connectivity is as important today as electricity was a century ago and the City of Riga is working to bridge the digital divide so that all citizens can benefit from these developments. Security is one of Riga’s priorities, so we particularly appreciate that the 5G project directly expands the operational capabilities of the Riga Municipal Police,” said Linda Ozola, Deputy Chairperson of the Riga City Council, at the launch of the project.




The lead coordinator of the project is Riga Municipality Agency “Riga Digital Agency”. According to Arnis Gulbis, the agency’s director, the first and most responsible work is to develop the necessary documents and build the technology. Therefore, we have started to work carefully to develop the necessary documents, to initiate changes in the legislation and to test the technology. This is necessary to ensure that the project is as safe as possible for both citizens and civil aviation. Turin, with its extensive experience in the use of drones, is an excellent model and cooperation partner from which we can learn. In cooperation with telecom companies, 5G technology will be installed at the pilot sites to ensure the smooth operation of the drones, and the drones themselves will be tested in urban environments in about 1.5-2 years.”

The implementation of 5G technologies in Riga will be ensured by the project’s cooperation partners “Latvijas Mobilais Telefons” and the state joint stock company “Electronic communication office of Latvia”. The power supply will be powered by alternative hydrogen fuel cells, thus providing sustainable climate solutions.

The Riga Municipal Police already uses drones in its operational work, for example to control public transport lanes, to detect uncleared building roofs, or to search for people, but they also have drawbacks – they require a police officer to operate them and their battery power is not suitable for long and prolonged overflights. Andrejs Aronovs, Deputy Chief of Riga Municipal Police, explains. We are talking about drones that can patrol in an automated way for long periods of time to record offences and monitor order also in wider areas, for example on the water bodies of Riga.”

The project will purchase four drones for automated flights with thermal and infrared cameras for the Riga Municipal Police, providing two drones in each project area. These drones will be used for life-saving in bathing areas, control of people on ice, control of poaching and shipping, animal surveillance, public order monitoring, detection of environmental pollution, etc., as well as for other functions of the municipal police. The introduction of automated drones will increase the efficiency of the municipal police and public safety, as their operation will relieve the workload of police officers-pilots and information from the drone will be transmitted via smart solutions.

The main cooperation partner of the Riga Municipal Police is the Turin Municipal Police (Italy). Turin is one of the European leaders in the active use of drones for public safety, for example in large parks, public events and concerts, and the city’s municipal police have extensive experience in using the technology in a variety of settings.  The Riga Municipal Police has already successfully worked with experts from Turin to introduce technology and drones in policing in Latvia. Riga has chosen public bathing areas as the pilot area for the project, while Turin will implement the project in mountainous terrain.

In the development of technology and smart solutions, it is important to get the opinion of technology experts, which is why one of the project partners is the open innovation movement VEFRESH. “The public-private partnership within the project in Riga will take environmental monitoring to a whole new level. A 5G mobile network framework will be developed and tested to deliver an innovative, accurate, digitised service that provides real-time data on the safety of our water sites – in all seasons. This type of service will be unique at both city and national level.”


Duration, funding, partners

Funding: Connecting Europe Facility Digital Programme of the European Union
Budget: Total € 3 826 000, EU contribution € 2 869 500, Riga Municipality costs € 922 000, EU contribution € 691 500
Duration: 01.01.2024. – 31.12.2026.
Partners: Riga City Council, Riga Municipal Police, City of Turin, the Polytechnic University of Turin, “Latvijas Mobilais telefons”, “Electronic communication office of Latvia”, “Windtre” (Italy), open innovation movement “Vefresh”.




Grant agreement Nr. 101133716