Toyota Mobility aims to analyse data from connected cars to inform road maintenance in Akaiwa City, Okayama.
Local governments in Japan currently identify road maintenance needs following observations from their regular patrols. These patrols help to ensure traffic accidents are prevented and potentially vital evacuation routes are kept clear.
Several natural disasters have struck Japan, including both an earthquake and floods in 2018 alone. The disasters have not only proved the need for good roads but also caused a lot of infrastructure damage that has put a strain on government budgets.
Vehicle behaviour data and images collected from on-board cameras should help local governments understand where funds and potential repairs should be prioritised.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation is holding a conference alongside Akaiwa City, the Okayama Prefecture, Okayama University, and the local Akaiwa City Police, to discuss how such a solution can help governments of all sides.
A similar innovation was announced in the UK earlier this week. The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) awarded £2m in funding to a project using AI to examine the condition of roads.
Close to 150 million HD images of the roads will be analysed by AI technology developed by North Yorkshire-based Gaist, a firm which specialises in the surveying of critical infrastructure.
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