ISJ Exclusive: Inside an AI-enabled world


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Chris Bishop, Head of Sales APAC, Ipsotek, an Atos company and Mehdi Afiatpour, Global Head of Business Development, 5G, MEC & Artificial Intelligence, Atos discuss the benefits of AI and 5G.

Across the transport sector, opportunities created by the availability of 5G are wide-ranging, from responding to safety incidents in real time to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for passengers.

5G brings enormous potential for travel and other service providers at railways stations and other transport hubs as well as across transport infrastructures and the world’s growing freight industry. With more bandwidth to transmit data, solar-powered cameras can be easily installed, supporting carbon-neutral initiatives.

When combined with AI, CCTV footage provides a wealth of new insights to help make transport safe, secure, reliable and efficient. As well as alerting staff and triggering automated responses to incidents, benefits include higher revenues, with intelligence gathered over time that can be visualised via dashboards for transport operators to use as inputs into planning and managing transport networks.

Transforming passenger experiences

5G is an enabler of ubiquitous AI-driven video analytics, as it makes the deployment of CCTV cameras much easier. Gathering intelligence from computer-processed video streams to better understand passenger flow at a transport hub enables operators and retailers to provide a frictionless customer experience. What’s more, the less time passengers spend queuing or waiting around, the more time they have for shopping and entertainment, in-person and personalised via passenger apps as part of an integrated end-to-end journey.

Queue and crowd management

With pressure on operators to comply with new safety protocols, the effective management of queues and crowds is more important than ever. Using real time video and AI analytics, operators can analyse the formation of queues in real-time and swiftly open additional lanes or redirect passengers between checkpoints.

Detection of suspicious behaviour

Abandoned luggage, passengers, loitering in critical areas or moving against general direction can be easily detected and alerts can be raised. Such detection can be life-saving in some cases, like rail passengers stepping on tracks or entering subway tunnels.

Passenger security

Security checks and controls using mobile devices and facial recognition technologies will further contribute to passenger security, for example, by detecting individuals on a security watchlist. Interception personnel can be provided with an advanced video feed of the scenery to facilitate a polite and effective response.

Contactless travel

This can be expanded using 5G for faster, easier, more convenient travel. In the future, all a passenger might need to do is scan their smartphone at the car park to gain access and find their allocated parking space; they could use the same device using their biometric ID to go through security. Looking further ahead, we’ll see more use of autonomous vehicles at travel hubs, enabled by 5G, for passenger services such as luggage handling, entertainment and hospitality.

Intelligent operations and asset management

Any incident or risk has the potential to seriously disrupt and delay travel services which is why effective detection and incident response makes such a huge difference to any travel operator. Monitoring can put a huge strain on human resources – which is where 5G will help.

Cargo handling

Cargo handling at ports and rail stations can be better handled using a handheld or automated distance readers for scanning, with all data sent via 5G to a central location and accessible by service providers and logistics partners.

Monitoring service areas

From chains of petrol-filling stations to retail spaces and travel hubs, video combined with AI at the edge will help identify and manage hazards and incidents such as theft or fire – with fewer control room resources. Congestion and potential traffic violations can be avoided in roadways and car parks, improving operations and avoiding lost revenue. License plate recognition enabled by 5G will complement security controls and revenue protection.

Monitoring rail infrastructure and tracks

Using cameras and intelligent video analytics will majorly contribute to health and safety and real time incident response. Level crossings are a great example: Gaining early warning of a person or vehicle on the track will minimise disruption and data from level crossings over time can be analysed as part of infrastructure planning and management.

Creating intelligent supply chains

Connecting and gathering data from sensors fixed at ports and freight containers and vessels more easily will increase the speed and efficiency of unloading and loading, with huge benefits, particularly in bad weather or remote locations.

5G will revolutionise the edge and technology market

The fifth generation (5G) of wireless networks is transforming opportunities for people and businesses – providing a unified digital experience for billions of connected devices and offering speed up to 100 times faster than those provided by 4G. The combination of real time edge computing and 5G delivers the low latency, high reliability and efficiency needed to power applications like AI, computer vision, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity, smart cities and smart manufacturing.

Cutting-edge 5G technology will enable unprecedented consumer and business use cases, spanning hundreds of use cases across three key categories:

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): For data-driven use cases requiring high data rates across a wide coverage area
  2. Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC): Meets strict requirements on latency and reliability for mission-critical communications like remote surgery, autonomous vehicles or the tactile internet
  3. Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC): Supports a large number of devices in a small area, which may only send data sporadically, such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases

Private 5G networks and multi-access edge computing (MEC)

Industry 4.0 will be built on private 5G networks and MEC, powering innovation across all industries and enabling businesses to unlock exponential growth. 5G was designed specifically with the Internet of Things in mind. Only high performance private networks can provide the robust, reliable connectivity required to suit any need and use case, both today and in the future. They provide:

  • Data Sovereignty – private networks and MEC have been designed to keep data private and local. End-to-end security is built in from the ground up, ensuring that data remains on-premises, secure and inaccessible to outside parties
  • Simplicity – private 5G and MEC are designed to be flexible and support an endless range of deployment sizes, requirements and needs. Easy to install, the components arrive pre-integrated and ready to deliver value straight out of the box in a scalable and future-proof manner
  • Innovation – private 5G networks and MEC are unlocking use cases and applications that previously were not possible. From automation, robots and drones to digital twins, edge computing and augmented reality — we are limited only by our own imagination. 5G will be ready to tackle new use cases well into the future
  • 5G technology is transforming the security and public safety industry through innovative, cost-effective use cases powered by computer vision, drones and mission-critical communication systems

The Atos Computer Vision Platform

Security and surveillance solutions are the most mature video analytics opportunities today. When AI is combined with video analytics to extract information from data (known as metadata), it is referred to as computer vision.

Computer vision is a huge opportunity and has the potential to be a game-changing application of edge computing. The market is large and growing and, in 2021, there were an estimated one billion surveillance cameras operational around the world, with expected growth of 20% from 2017 to 2024. Moreover, edge computing is a key market driver and, without edge computing, the growth of video analytics is constrained by data sovereignty challenges and the cost of sending high-bandwidth data to the cloud. Computer vision can address a wide variety of use cases including: Intrusion detection; Abnormal behaviour detection; Smoke detection and social distancing.

While edge computing is seen as a catalyst to grow the market, private 5G networks and MEC play a crucial role in accelerating its adoption. Beyond the obvious 5G advantages, it offers three key benefits:

  1. Mobility – this is essential for drones and in any environment where mobility of cameras may be necessary, like retail areas in airports & train stations that update their layout regularly
  2. Reduced total cost of ownership – 5G-enabled computer vision systems can be implemented faster, with lower operational costs due to remote management and cloud native principles
  3. Connectivity for remote locations – in areas where no wired connectivity options are available, 5G connectivity may the only option

It’s hard to avoid the term metaverse these days. Metaverses and other shared immersive experiences are the new wave of digital interaction. They also include a plethora of other experiences targeted to shopping, job training, gaming, education, remote meetings, cultural experiences and more.

Yet, for the metaverse to reach its full potential, 5G will be absolutely critical to enabling exciting uses like metaverse VR, metaverse XR, and helping make Web 3.0 a reality. It will require: Ubiquitous access to all multiverses that form the metaverse with 5G’s global reach and a broadly adopted ecosystem; Lightweight and accessible XR devices to experience the metaverse, powered by reliable, low latency communication to enable devices to offload more to the edge and leverage edge rendering/edge streaming.

Ultimately, 5G MEC capabilities will serve as the foundational platform to enable secure and simple innovation.

This article was originally published in the June edition of ISJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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