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NEC and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Demonstrate Intersection Safety Using AI-based Video Analytics

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NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have successfully carried out a proof of concept (PoC) to provide safety information and warnings to drivers, pedestrians and other road users near intersections using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based video analysis technologies.

In the PoC conducted from June to September of this year, conditions inside and outside an intersection at the Virginia Smart Roads test track were analyzed using information gathered from cameras and video analysis equipment installed on traffic signal poles. NEC provided AI-based video analytics technology that can detect, categorize, and track road users such as vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles around intersections. In addition, by integrating this technology with a C-V2X(1) system that notifies vehicles and pedestrians of safety information and warnings, the feasibility of an infrastructure-cooperative mobility service in which infrastructure and vehicles exchange information via wireless communication was evaluated.

NEC and VTTI also worked on traffic safety use cases such as predicting collisions between vehicle and pedestrian, pedestrian crossing detection, and right/left turn vehicle detection. In these cases, vehicles were successfully notified within 0.5 seconds after the video analysis AI detected the possibility of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian. This is expected to be useful in reducing traffic accidents by quickly communicating the risk of collisions at intersections with poor visibility, etc.

“This PoC combines state-of-the-art AI-based video analytical solutions with C-V2X technology to create social value that contributes to safety and security for vehicles and pedestrians in the vicinity of intersections. These technologies are capable of identifying hazardous situations in areas that can be blind spots for drivers and pedestrians and notifying them of such situations. NEC believes that this solution can contribute to a reduction in crashes and fatalities, as well as to supporting automated driving from roadside infrastructure,” said Koji Kikuchi, Senior Director, Smart City Business Development Division, NEC.

“The concept of infrastructure-cooperative mobility that NEC is aiming for requires highly reliable, low-latency communications via a dedicated network to predict or detect incidents near intersections. VTTI believes this PoC will complement C-V2X technology and improve road safety by informing vehicles and pedestrians of possible traffic hazards when passing through an intersection. VTTI intends to work together with NEC to apply the results of this PoC to intersections on live public roads,” said Mike Mollenhauer, Director of the Division of Technology Implementation at VTTI.

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