On the expressway, it used to take about 5 to 10 minutes to identify an accident after it took place. Now, this process has been reduced to less than 30 seconds, which is one of the outcomes achieved by Zhejiang Lab’s intelligent algorithms on the testing section of the Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Expressway.
“With four algorithms on the cloud control platform of the Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Expressway, we integrated many data sources such as gantries, checkpoints, videos, and millimeter-wave radars to perform analysis including vehicle trajectory restoration and traffic flow statistics. We can therefore improve the efficiency and management of expressways,” said Ji Wei, an Associate Researcher at the Zhejiang Lab Research Center for Intelligent Network.
It took only six months for Ji Wei and his team to develop the algorithms and apply them in real life. For the six young people in the team, in addition to the remarkable results, they also gathered a more direct understanding of the process from basic science research to industrial application.
“For our research at the Lab, we usually consider only a limited number of scenarios and use standard datasets. However, when developing real-life projects, we found it difficult to obtain ideal datasets due to complex traffic conditions on the expressway and the limitations of existing information systems,” said Ji. According to him, the team spent a lot of time and effort on data cleansing and tried various methods to ensure the algorithms’ adaptability in boundary scenarios. “Although the process was time-consuming and intensive, it is important for researchers to walk out of the Lab and apply their research outcomes in real life,” said Ji.
Currently, the four algorithms mainly focus on the management needs of expressways. Next, the team plans to further enrich the services of the existing platform. In addition, they will work with another research team from the same center, the research team for the Internet of Vehicles, to realize a full-dimensional cloud-vehicle-road platform for intelligent expressways. They will also extend the services to drivers and passengers, providing inclusive on-hand services and individualized services for different people and vehicles.