Tuesday, 07 December 2021 10:41

Sydney and Newcastle use artificial intelligence and edge computing to improve road mobility


Sydney and Newcastle are deploying artificial intelligence and edge computing technology in a trial to improve customer journey, safety, and increase transport service reliability.

Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes says the transport for NSW trials are connecting several buses, ferries, and light rail vehicles, and then using real-time data to help identify improvements for customers.

“We’ve partnered with Cisco to investigate how a real-time view of vehicle supply and customer demand and performance can guide future network decisions and monitor road conditions to identify where repair work is needed,” Stokes says.

Pitt Street near Central Station is using artificial intelligence, Wi-Fi, and edge computing to capture real time data and identify high-risk events.

“We’ll be able to keep a close eye on vehicle movements as more commuters and pedestrians head back to Sydney’s busiest transport hubs as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease,” Stokes claims.

Transport for NSW deputy secretary of customer, strategy, and technology Joost de Kock says road user movements are tracked at several intersections in Newcastle using intelligent sensors to help improve overall road safety.

“In another trial, we are also using advanced sensors on buses, ferries, and light rail to provide instant feedback on the comfort of customer journeys and improve real-time customer information,” de Kock says.

“Buses equipped with this technology can also monitor asset and road conditions and provide us with real-time information on vehicles.”

Both cities are also trialling Cisco’s technologies including:

∙ Internet of Things (IoT) - enabling physical objects to be digitised and connected to the network via sensors

∙ Edge Computing - taking real-time data from connected objects and allowing for faster decision making

∙ Artificial Intelligence – assists with data and automating the process, which will help to transform the data into useful insights.

Cisco Australia and New Zealand general manager for transport and infrastructure Simon Young says Transport for NSW is the only agency in the world trialling their AI system.

“These trials represent the strength of the partnership between Cisco and Transport for NSW to co-innovate and use technology to solve some of the most pressing and challenging problems facing transport agencies,” Young says.

The cost of congestion in Sydney, the Hunter, and Illawarra is forecast to double to $15.7 billion by 2031, according to a 2019 report by Infrastructure Australia.

This puts Transport for NSW in a position to make this new technology invaluable by helping to support a more efficient road and transport network.

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