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Developing Cost-Effective Smart Solutions for the Transportation Industry

2/25/2022

Abstract

Thailand’s Ministry of Transportation needed a smart toll transportation solution with surveillance and classification of vehicles, to help improve traffic flow and face management challenges effectively. Advantech provides simple-to-maintain solutions and industrial-grade computers and technology to increase operating efficiency and cost savings.

Partner: Sam Technology Support Co.,Ltd | Region: Thailand



Introduction 

System integrators (SI) are constantly developing and testing new technologies to improve the efficiency, safety, and convenience of transportation systems. Sourcing the best state-of-the-art technology to ensure reliable and uninterrupted operations is an expensive business and a fine balancing act. To save money, some SI have turned to commercial computers over industrial computers, which are less reliable for day to day operations, whereas industrial computers are designed to perform 24/7 in any conditions, enabling them to withstand any event or disruption.

Industrial computers are very adept at the collection and processing of big data used to analyze problems, formulate policies, and make more accurate decisions using AI. For example, if a subway metro train is delayed, stations will display information and send out messages to commuters for alternative routes. Access to big data provides an opportunity to reduce the risk of road accidents and city hazards and allows effective resource management by making smart predictions based on processed data.

Cities face constant pressure to improve traffic flow, reduce pollution, and help improve overall safety. Smart road technologies such as traffic management, environmental monitoring, pedestrian safety, and smart tolling systems all help city planners to address these challenges effectively. 

Thailand’s Ministry of Transportation recognized the need for a smart transportation system to improve socio-economic development, which led to improved policy formulation, development, supervision, and integration of the country’s transportation and traffic systems. As a result, an initiative was created to study, analyze and formulate a digital development plan in line with its policy/strategy for economic development and improvement to the overall welfare of society.

System Requirements

The project involved SAM Technology Support (SAM) who specialize in business applications, infrastructure design and consulting, founded in 2013 in Bangkok. SAM develops innovative ideas and cutting-edge technology to deliver quality IT solutions and customer experiences in line with strong business ethics, reduced cost, increased work productivity and overall customer satisfaction.

SAM conceptualized a smart toll transportation solution for the Ministry of Transportation who specifically wanted industrial-grade computers to be installed at toll stations at each station across the country. Current systems were inefficient and increased the total cost of ownership (TCO), lacked storage capacity and long lifetime support. The project focused on developing a modern toll collection system that included the following criteria:

  • Resistance to climate conditions - It was essential that the system could withstand environments with varying humidity and temperature conditions.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Durable and cost-effective.
  • Adaptable - It was important that industrial-grade technology continues to support legacy technologies such as ISA cards and various other options.

System Description

Several Advantech IPC-6606 wallmount chassis’ were installed at the toll stations. An ISA card was built into the system, which allowed the capability to support multiple cards while the IPC-6606 controlled the sensor systems and the barriers.

As for the application, each toll point is responsible for controlling the function of the barrier through commands from the IPC-6606 to enable automation. Then, the IMC-390 transmits and receives images via optical fiber in real-time by getting signals at each toll point through the EKI-9226G port. The system has up to 20 fiber ports and 6 LAN ports which allows multitasking to improve productivity. The system is adaptable and versatile enough to be used with legacy ISA cards without the need to replace equipment.

Project Implementation

  • Internet Switch
  • EKI-926G
  • IMC-390
  • POE Camera
  • IPC-6606

Conclusion

A cost-effective industrial-grade smart transportation system was developed, built, and delivered to the customer. The simple to maintain solution was compatible with existing technologies and the solution increased operating efficiency by 50%, leading to cost savings of 20%, and a 30% improvement overall.

The application allowed for the easy capture of video data and in combination with the embedded Edge AI Inference System, was used for the video image application in surveillance and classification of transportation vehicles.

The SAM development team easily incorporated additional features, including the availability of support for easy future CPU card upgrades to meet future needs.

Advantech partnered with SAM to provide DFSI Smart transportation by using Edge AI Inference Computers embedded on system and similar environments. The adoption of the solution proved that operational efficiency could be achieved while lowering installation costs and proved the overall convenience of working with Advantech-based products.