IoT garbage trucks to detect road repairs in Swinburne-led 5G research project

Garbage trucks featuring high-resolution cameras and GPS sensors will be used to create a map of assets that require maintenance by Brimbank City Council.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor
Image: Swinburne University

A network of garbage trucks that use 5G technology and Internet of Things sensors to detect local road repairs will be featured as part of a new research project between Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria's Brimbank City Council, and Optus to demonstrate how 5G can be used to support smart cities in Australia.

As part of the project, high-resolution cameras and GPS sensors will be attached to Brimbank's garbage trucks to collect 3D perception data at a rate of 900Mbps. Data that is captured through the cameras and sensors will then be sent in real time to a cloud-based system to create a map of assets that require maintenance, such as road signs, bus shelters, or damaged roads.

Maintenance teams will be able to access the information directly on their phones and upload proof of maintenance performed on the spot.

According to Swinburne, the project is expected to help the local council reduce the time it takes to identify, document, and fix issues, remove the need for costly manual reporting and audit, and save up to 50% of asset auditing costs.

"This innovative 5G-based project offers us a quicker and more efficient way to identify which assets need maintenance, and to get the information to the work crews. Simply put, this project will help Council respond faster to assets that need maintenance," Brimbank mayor Jasmine Nguyen said.

"Council is pleased to be working with Swinburne University and Optus on this ground-breaking project. Our project will also lead the way for other councils considering 5G based solutions for road and roadside asset condition monitoring."

The project is being supported by AU$1.18 million in funding from the federal government's 5G Innovation Initiative.

"We are delighted to be working with the forward-thinking Brimbank Council, and utilising Swinburne's leading capabilities and world-renowned expertise in Internet of Things and digital innovation to demonstrate a solution that can be used in cities across Australia and around the world," Swinburn's Factory of the Future and Digital Innovation Lab director Prakash Jayaraman said.

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