Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Transforming buses into mobile sensing platforms

28.05.2008
Modern buses could be used as mobile sensing platforms, sending out live information that can be used to control traffic and detect road hazards, according to European researchers.

The research could help improve road safety, allowing traffic controllers, police and other services to access up-to-date information from any number of public buses already on the streets.

In a test, the researchers equipped city buses with environmental sensors and cameras, allowing the vehicles to become transmitters of measurements, warnings and live or recorded videos to anyone allowed to access the data.

How's the weather?
Researchers with the MORYNE project perfected a raft of technologies for mobile sensing, data acquisition, analyses and telecommunications that could be placed in public buses as a part of a larger effort to improve road safety and traffic management.

In tests, they embedded humidity and temperature sensors on buses. One pair of sensors checks the road surface while the other pair analyses the air. The sensors were selected and designed to resist to pollution. They were also designed to quickly acclimatise to the environment, as buses may have to go through tunnels, tiny dark roads, bridges and city parks over the course of a few minutes.

The data gathered by the sensors is processed on the bus, using a small but very powerful computer. The computer can then warn the bus driver if for example foggy or icy conditions are imminent.

The computer can also send alerts to a public transport control centre via a variety of wireless connections, including mobile radio systems, wifi or wimax networks, and UMTS (3G). The control centre can in turn warn nearby buses of dangerous conditions through the same wireless channels.

The system can also be set up to warn city traffic-monitoring centres of road conditions, making these mobile environmental sensors another way to collect information on top of an existing network.

Bus lane violators, beware!
Another innovation stemming from the project is the bus-mounted road-cam, a powerful video acquisition and processing device that can detect traffic conditions around a bus. They system can be used to spot unauthorised cars in a bus lane and inform the police.

The same video system can also be used to count the number of vehicles in adjoining lanes and measure their speed, helping to alert a city traffic-monitoring centre of road conditions on the ground, in real time.

“Most large cities, where this type of system would be deployed, already have very extensive camera systems, inductive loops and environmental sensors networks in place to analyse traffic and weather,” explains Patrice Simon, the project’s co-ordinator. “But city traffic monitoring authorities involved in the project have told us they consider the information provided by buses as a useful supplement.”

The road ahead
The project’s achievements are not just about the services and sensing units the researchers have incorporated into the system, but could also be realised in potential future applications of the technology.

“Our project worked on a large number of allied technologies, and perfected them to the point where they could be economically incorporated into bus design, but that is just the beginning of what these systems could do,” explains Simon.

For example, MORYNE’s work on video capture, transmission in real-time and simultaneous recording could help improve security for bus drivers and passengers.

“The devices are quite small but very powerful, and we could develop software that could analyse images to detect if a fight breaks out on the bus, for example, and automatically alert the police” Simon notes.

Work on that particular technology remains to be done, but the EU-funded MORYNE project has demonstrated that it is feasible.

“All the public transport authorities we spoke to over the project showed a great and increasing interest for on-board security applications, but it was beyond the scope of the project,” says Simon. “Still, we have made significant progress in realising this type of system, and the image and sound analysis software to detect aggression is the only major element currently missing.”

Simon notes that partners will apply for funding to perfect the on-bus security applications, the sensors and the telecommunication network that bus services are clamouring for, in the autumn call for the next round of EU research funding, known as FP7.

Moryne received funding from the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.

Ahmed ElAmin | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89747

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next stop Morocco: EU partners test innovative space robotics technologies in the Sahara desert
09.11.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht A burst of ”synchronous” light
08.11.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>