The project, which is expected to start in June, aims to provide an intelligent parking system to reduce pollution and traffic congestion, with drivers alerted via a smartphone app before being directed to the nearest free parking space. The trial also includes a study of smart city systems to optimize the use of its public transportation network by implementing smart bus shelters and counting bus riders to identify overcrowding to ensure better bus supply and optimize costs. Over time, a crosswalk alert system will be activated to warn drivers that pedestrians are crossing via intelligent low-latency lighting on the road to make them more visible and thus reduce crosswalk accidents.
This reduces the bandwidth required, allows for expansion using the existing network, and reduces energy and communication costs while respecting the privacy concerns of citizens. Sony Europe's commitment to support the development of smart city projects is based on the "Sensing as a Service" (SeaaS) business model. Leveraging Sony's imaging and sensing technology to serve social causes in cities shows how IMX500 sensors can alleviate some of the problems faced by busy cities. Antonio Avitabile, Managing Director of Corporate Alliance and Investment at Sony comments: “We have a vision of achieving more sustainable and livable cities, and through the IMX500 scalable platform we can substantially accelerate this process.” To implement this technology, Genius version smart tips have been installed in downtown Rome. A preliminary phase was undertaken to train a neural network to identify available parking spaces, the presence of a pedestrian about to cross or the number of people getting on or off a bus. Each Genius smart tip includes two sensors that send real-time data elaborated by neuronal networks on the exact location of an available space, the presence of pedestrians and the number of people at the bus shelters. This data is then sent to the cloud-based software platform of partner company Envison. The trial is being conducted in the city of Rome in collaboration with a number of start-ups in the Italian ecosystem and with the support of Sony Europe.