Smart black ice detection tested in Japan

  • March 7, 2023
  • William Payne

A consortium of companies has developed a system to detect black ice on roads using smart street-lighting. Testing of the system, developed by Stanley Electric, Kaga FEI, NTT, and Dassault Systèmes, is now underway in Susono, Japan.

For the test, a smart street light that projects an illuminated warning onto the road has been installed on a light pole in front of Yanagibata Bridge in Ishiwaki, Susono City. During the test, data from an edge AI camera and sensors mounted on the smart street light is collected to compare the number of ice-related accidents at the site before and after the test. Residents will be surveyed to see if their awareness of ice-related hazards has been changed by the operation of the system.

Stanley Electric has developed the LED street light and illumination-projection equipment. Kaga FEI has provided edge AI camera and sensors and developed the embedded AI system. NTT Communications has provided mobile communications, IoT Connect Mobile TypeS, and provided the platform for visualising and storing collected data: Things Cloud. Dassault Systèmes has provided a virtual twin platform, 3DEXPERIENCE and has built virtual twins, data visualisation, and scenario analysis based on system and terrain data.

Once the system is demonstrated to be reliable and effective, its broad deployment in other municipalities will be promoted along with the use of smart streetlights in emerging countries where road lighting is uncommon. By combining data from the system such as weather data, it will be possible to provide enhanced weather-related driving information, such as traffic congestion forecasts in areas where snow is expected.

NTT Com’s KOEL design studio will join the project to help research opportunities for commercial applications. It is expected that the system could be applied in business areas such as shopping malls and other commercial facilities as well as Park-PFI, a publicly solicited, privately financed initiative for the maintenance and management of urban parks in Japan.

Susono, which has adopted the slogan “Japan’s most citizen-oriented city hall,” is modernising its urban areas through the introduction of universal-design pedestrian spaces, technology and data analysis, aiming to achieve zero fatalities and less than 200 injuries due to accidents per year by 2025.