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Sony cooperates in smart city trial project in Rome


Sony Europe has announced its IMX500 image sensors with AI processing functionality are currently being used in three smart city trials being run by Envision in the municipality of Rome, Italy.

These trials are intended to cut the city’s transport-related pollution and accidents at pedestrian crossings.

The trial’s main goal is to evaluate and deliver a smart parking system using IMX500 to reduce pollution and gridlock from those cruising to find a parking space. For this, the trial seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of such a system, with drivers alerted via a smartphone app before being directed to the free parking space closest to the driver’s destination.

The test also includes a study of smart city systems that will optimize capacity and increase the use of its public transport network by implementing smart bus shelters, counting those getting on and off each bus – identifying overloading to ensure better provisioning of buses and costs optimization.

Finally, an alert system at pedestrian crossings will be progressively activated to alert drivers when pedestrians are crossing, using low-latency smart lighting on the road to make them more visible with the aim of reducing the city’s accidents on pedestrian crossings.

Sony Europe said that this trial is set to start in June.

The company noted that the IMX500 is the first image sensor to integrate an AI processing functionality. The configuration used for this trial allows to extract real time metadata related to information of a free parking space, the presence of a pedestrian about to cross a street, or the number of people getting on / off a bus. No images are stored, nor leave the sensor, in line with privacy requirements.

Sony Europe also said it is committed to supporting the development and implementation of smart city projects with a view to help cities to solve their different issues through a Sensing as a Service (SeaaS) business model.

Antonio Avitabile, managing director of corporate alliance and investment at Sony, said: “This is a clear and concrete example where Sony’s smart vision solution can serve our customer’s purpose while respecting people’s privacy. We have a vision of achieving more sustainable and livable cities, and through the IMX500 scalable platform we can substantially accelerate this process.”

Sony also highlighted that local firm TTM Group (DP Control) is responsible for installing the IMX500 image sensor in the smart tip, while Envision is responsible for the development of the smart tips. Envision designs and develops “End2End as a service” infrastructures for smart cities and IoT, managed through the UrbanVision software platform.

Meanwhile, Citelum is the promoter of the project and responsible for the installation of the smart tips on traffic lights.

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