Laos Gets Its First-Ever Expressway – And It’s A Smart One
Dec 28, 2020

Laos saw its first expressway, the Vientiane-Vang Vieng Expressway, officially being opened on December 20.

The 110-kilometer four-lane stretch is part of the planned China-Laos expressway, which eventually would connect the Lao capital with the country’s northern border town of Boten at an approximate length of 440 kilometers.

The project is aimed at boosting the economic development of central and northern Laos and facilitating business cooperation and cultural exchange between China and Laos.

Construction was carried out by China’s Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group in cooperation with the Lao government, a joint venture where smart technology provided by Chinese technology firm Huawei also played a role.

Huawei provided an information and communication platform for what it calls a “smart expressway,” based on cloud computing, Internet of Things and security management systems, the company said in a December 21 release.

Huawei data communication and transmission equipment deployed along the route uses big data analysis and other technical means to implement all-scenario solutions such as real-time intelligent monitoring, intelligent charging, emergency response and decision analysis, the release said.

Integrating 5G technology to manage traffic flow

In 2021, the 5G network to be built in Laos will be integrated with this smart expressway as well, it added.

The smart expressway technology is meant to improve local transportation conditions and transportation efficiency, promote the development of economy and tourism along the way and effectively benefit the local people, Huawei believes.

Local businesses lauded the new road, saying that it was wider, faster and safer than the old one and travel time can now be cut from 3.5 hours to one hour. There had already been a significant increase in hotel bookings in Vang Vieng, they said.