Innovative 5G-based solution research project reaches milestone

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Victoria’s Brimbank City Council’s 5G-based solution research project has achieved a breakthrough with artificial intelligence (AI) development capable of detecting damaged road signs and dumped garbage. 

Swinburne University of Technology and Optus are collaborating to deliver the Mobile 5G Internet of Things (IoT) solution for data-driven road asset maintenance.

Eleven waste collection trucks were outfitted with high-resolution stereo vision cameras and GPS sensors to collect data as they made their regular rounds across Brimbank City Council’s 900 km road network.

According to the City Council, the technology records physical evidence of broken signs and dumped trash and pinpoints its precise location on a dashboard map for the municipality.

Brimbank City Council said the data allows the Council to investigate the possibility of real-time asset monitoring and automated notifications of maintenance requirements. The project’s next stage is to integrate it into the Council’s digital systems and processes.

“This innovative 5G-based solution research project allows us to explore the possibilities of more efficient ways we can identify which assets need maintenance and how we can get this information to our work crews to respond,” Brimbank Mayor Cr Jasmine Nguyen stated.

Nguyen said the project milestone provides proof that artificial intelligence can take pictures and spot obtrusive objects like graffiti on street signs or a mattress dumped by the side of the road.

“This research is a great example of how we can incorporate technology into our current processes and optimise our existing services to the Brimbank community,” Nguyen added. 

Identifying road maintenance needs, such as potholes and faded line markings, is another goal of the research.

The research is funded by a $1.18 million Federal Government grant through the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative. The program was designed to assist small and large businesses in testing and developing 5G applications, services, and products.


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