Echelon Corporation of Santa Clara, California, debuted a patent-pending cognitive vision-based technology for smart city and smart campus applications. Echelon InSight™ employs artificial intelligence in vision-enabled edge devices. The company developed InSight for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications.
On-Site Data Collection and Processing Requires Less Bandwidth
InSight collects and processes traffic data at the edge of the network instead of on a central server. InSight then utilizes the company’s previously released Lumewave by Echelon® lighting platform to transmit traffic information.
The collecting and processing data at the edge of the network instead of on a server reduces response time and improves the reliability of the system. Echelon contends that this peripheral processing and collection architecture minimizes network bandwidth requirements and enables faster action in response to changing conditions.
Echelon’s new technology will provide traffic-adaptive lighting in Spokane, Washington.
Traffic intersection streetlights will now also hold the cognitive vision system that will analyze traffic flows and automatically adjust streetlight output levels to enhance safety as well as reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs. With InSight, each unit locally analyzes video streams and makes decisions about what light levels to set based on traffic volumes and conditions.
With the system in place, peak traffic times prompt higher light levels, and non-peak times induce lower light levels. The solution uses Echelon’s connected streetlight control system, and it works with third-party LED-based streetlights.
Echelon notes that a typical LED streetlight conversions reduce electricity consumption by 50 percent while maintaining or even improving light levels. The company claims that adding its connected lighting control system can reduce consumption by an additional 30 to 40 percent. Echelon InSight will drive the intelligent traffic-adaptive lighting for this extra savings.
Comparison of InSight to Conventional Traffic Monitoring Systems
Traditionally, cities have used a broad range of traffic monitoring systems including radar, in-ground loops, cameras, or infrared to detect traffic for adjusting the timing of traffic signals. Such typically closed loop systems provide limited information and only adjust the timing of traffic signals.
Echelon claims that its traffic adaptive lighting application takes traffic detection one step further. The adaptive lighting application provides direct integration with area streetlights. Also, the InSight Cognitive Vision System captures and analyzes traffic patterns right at the camera’s location and then communicates traffic volume data to a local gateway or SmartServer to adaptively dim or brighten lights. Additionally, the system passes critical traffic data to a Central Management System via the Lumewave by Echelon 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 got up to speed very quickly on the way a signal cabinet works and expertly integrated their traffic adaptive lighting into our existing system,” said Adam Miles, Associate Traffic Engineer, 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.”
“An intelligent street lighting platform can serve as the backbone of a smart city,” said Sohrab Modi, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Echelon. “Municipalities and campuses need to leverage existing infrastructure when implementing IoT systems to minimize costs and maximize ROI. Spokane is a test bed for emerging technology, and its leaders recognize the environmental and safety advancements that this type of intelligent infrastructure can bring to its constituents. Once the technology is in place, city managers can add IoT applications to further improve public safety and enhance quality of life as new challenges arise.”
“For instance,” Modi added, “by using Echelon’s innovative traffic-adaptive street lighting application, a city could avoid the need to deploy a separate, costly broadband network that would be required by a conventional closed-circuit TV monitor system that would send video streams to a central system for analysis.”
The company says that in the future, additional InSight applications could include more traffic analytics, such as vehicle classification and vehicle speed maps, traffic signal timing functions, and solutions to other traffic related problems like parking.