Project aims to use 5G, IoT to smarten Australia’s waste trucks
5G will connect IoT sensors, including cameras, on waste trucks
A collaboration between Swinburne University of Technology and Brimbank City Council in Australia will result in an interconnected network of garbage trucks that will use the 5G network and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The project will see high-resolution cameras and GPS sensors attached to Brimbank’s waste trucks. The data captured from these connected devices will be sent in real-time to a cloud-based system that can create a map of assets that require maintenance, such as road signs, bus shelters or damaged roads.
The partners said that this will drastically reduce the time it takes to identify, document and fix issues, removing the need for costly manual reporting and auditing, and saving up to 50% of asset auditing costs.
Supported by AUD1.18 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Australian 5G Innovation Initiative, the project will also help demonstrate how 5G can reliably support the needs of smart cities around Australia.
Director of Swinburne’s Factory of the Future and Digital Innovation Lab, Associate Professor Prem Prakash Jayaraman, said: “Swinburne is bringing together researchers, government and industry to co-create safe, resilient solutions for smart and sustainable cities. Together, we are enhancing access to services, places and economic opportunities, and improving quality of life.”
“Residents have told us via the Community Survey that improving the appearance of Brimbank’s roads, road signs, bus stop shelters and roadside spaces is a high priority. 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,” said Brimbank Mayor Jasmine Nguyen.
“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,” Nguyen added.
The cameras attached to the garbage trucks will collect 3D perception data at a rate of 900 Mbps. To add extra complexity, the garbage trucks travel across every street in the council area each week and need to transmit the data in real-time while moving at varying speeds.
As part of the project, maintenance teams will be able to get information directly on their phones and upload proof of maintenance performed on the spot.
With more than 900 kilometers of road under maintenance and an estimated AUD15-20 million spent every year of maintaining and improving road and roadside assets in Brimbank alone, the partners said they expect the project will not only improve the lives and safety of local residents, but also help councils around Australia save millions.