A project in New Jersey will act as a testbed project for Californian based Velodyne’s new Intelligent Infrastructure Solution that combines artificial intelligence, mobility data-gathering, analysis and sharing technologies.

The solution is based upon Velodyne’s lidar sensors and Bluecity’s traffic network and public space monitoring artificial intelligence software. It generates real-time data analytics and predictions, helping, for instance, to improve traffic and crowd flow efficiency while protecting vulnerable road users.

The testbed programme is being run by Rutgers University’s Centre for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) in New Jersey.

CAIT will install Velodyne’s sensors at multiple intersections in New Brunswick, New Jersey as part of the Middlesex County – Smart Mobility Testing Ground project in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

“The acquisition and analysis of mobility data is crucial to creating a safer pedestrian and cycling environment and ultimately integrating autonomous vehicles,” said Dr Ali Maher, professor and director at CAIT. “Velodyne’s Intelligent Infrastructure Solution captures data on various traffic activity including vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists in all types of environmental conditions. We envision the solution as playing a critical role in helping us create a safer environment for all road users.”

Anand Gopalan, Chief Executive Officer, Velodyne Lidar adds, “Our solution, powered by Bluecity’s AI-powered traffic monitoring software platform, will be key in the efforts to transform our roads and transportation infrastructure into smart cities, paving the way for a more sustainable, safer future.”

The system creates a real-time 3D map of roads and intersections, providing precise traffic monitoring and analytics. Velodyne says it reliably collects data in any lighting or weather condition, supporting 24/7, 365 days a year operation. The solution advances safety through multimodal analytics that detect various road users including, vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Furthermore, it can predict, diagnose and address road safety challenges, helping municipalities make informed decisions to take corrective action.

Velodyne says the approach is more cost-effective and easier to install than radar and camera-based systems. This lower price point, it says, is because a single lidar sensor installed on a traffic pole can cover an entire intersection or highway section compared to radar and camera-based systems that typically need multiple sensors to cover the same area.

Lidar, it says, also has a privacy advantage over camera-only systems because it does not record details such as hair, skin colour or facial characteristics, which is a growing concern for civic applications.

Velodyne and Bluecity previously collaborated on a traffic monitoring system in Kelowna, British Columbia in a pioneering 5G smart city project. The initiative showed how the lidar-based solution could track near-misses of accidents at problematic intersections, improving roadway safety in a cost-effective and efficient way.

“We are excited to partner with Velodyne in order to bring to market this breakthrough solution that collects and analyses detailed traffic data about road users while preserving anonymity and trust,” said Asad Lesani, CEO at Bluecity. “We believe that Velodyne sensors are best-in-class and this solution will be a game changer for the smart city industry.”