New South Wales taps Cisco Australia for edge transport solution

Sydney, New South Wales

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, is trying to improve transport reliability and reduce congestion by using IoT sensors and edge computing.

The state’s transport department, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), has partnered with Cisco Australia to trial the project in cities Sydney and Newcastle.

A number of buses, ferries, and trams in each city will be kitted with sensors to track their movements in real-time, thanks to edge compute capabilities.

NSW minister for transport and roads, Rob Stokes, said: “We’ve partnered with Cisco to investigate how a real-time view of vehicle supply and customer demand can guide future network decisions and monitor road conditions to identify where repair work is needed.

“We’re using AI, Wi-Fi, and edge computing on Pitt Street near Central Station to capture real-time data and identify high-risk events. We’ll be able to keep a close eye on vehicle movements as more commuters and pedestrians head back to Sydney’s busiest transport hubs as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.”

According to Cisco Australia’s transport and infrastructure general manager, Simon Young, TfNSW is the only agency in the world currently trialling the company’s AI system.

“These trials represent the strength of the partnership between Cisco and Transport for NSW to co-innovate and use technology to solve some of the most pressing and challenging problems facing transport agencies,” he said.

The announcement marks a continued step-up in TfNSW’s use of cutting-edge tech. In September, the department said it was using AI to develop algorithms that will help the public sector manage road safety performances.

In 2020, TfNSW partnered with Microsoft for a proof-of-concept that used data and machine learning to flag dangerous intersections and reduce road accidents.

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