Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer Echelon Corporation has unveiled a patent-pending cognitive vision-based technology that can enable a wide range of smart city applications, including traffic management and traffic-responsive LED streetlighting systems.
Echelon’s new InSight system uses artificial intelligence (AI) in vision-enabled edge devices, optimized for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. With InSight, traffic data is collected and processed at the edge of the network instead of on a central server, and uses Echelon’s Lumewave lighting platform to transmit traffic information, reducing response time and improving reliability. This architecture enables faster reaction to changing conditions and minimizes network bandwidth requirements. In the future, additional InSight applications will offer more traffic analytics, including vehicle classification and vehicle speed maps, signal timing functions, and solutions to other related problems, such as parking.
The first application of Echelon’s new technology will be to provide traffic-adaptive lighting in Spokane, Washington. The cognitive vision system will be deployed on intersection streetlights, where it will analyze traffic flows and automatically adjust light levels to enhance safety, while reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs. With InSight, each unit analyzes video streams locally, and makes decisions about what light levels to set based on traffic volumes and conditions, triggering higher levels during peak hours and lowering light levels off-peak. The system uses Echelon’s industry-leading connected streetlight control system, along with the trend by cities and campuses to upgrade to energy-efficient LED lighting, which typically reduce electricity consumption by 50%, while maintaining the same or better light levels. Adding Echelon’s connected lighting control system can reduce consumption by an additional 30-40% by allowing intelligent traffic-adaptive lighting driven by the InSight platform.
Traditionally, cities have used a wide variety of monitoring systems, such as in-ground loops, cameras, radar, or infrared to detect traffic for timing signals. These are typically closed-loop systems and provide limited information for traffic signal timing only. Echelon’s Lumewave traffic-adaptive lighting application takes traffic detection one step further by providing direct integration with area streetlighting. The InSight Cognitive Vision System also captures and analyzes traffic patterns right at the camera and then provides traffic volume data to a local gateway or SmartServer to adaptively dim or brighten lights. Critical traffic data is also passed to a Central Management System via the Lumewave network.
“Echelon’s new solution will deliver more efficient lighting sequences at a lower cost, so we’re excited to be testing it. The Echelon team expertly integrated their traffic-adaptive lighting into our existing signal system,” noted Adam Miles, associate traffic engineer for the City of Spokane. “The technology will allow us to reduce energy costs through existing traffic detectors while we analyze data from the new InSight cameras, and compare their ability to replace traditional traffic detection tools.”
Sohrab Modi, CTO and SVP of engineering at Echelon, added, “An intelligent streetlighting platform can serve as the backbone of a smart city. Spokane is a testbed for emerging technology and its leaders recognize the environmental and safety advancements that this type of intelligent infrastructure can bring to its constituents.”