The Horizon 2020-funded Galileo Enhancement as Booster of the Smart Cities (GHOST) project is designing, developing and validating an intelligent system for vehicles that equips existing public transport fleets with a Galileo-enabled camera and connects these vehicles to a web portal.
The system automatically takes pictures of predefined points of interest (POI) based on the accurate position of the vehicle. All images are sent to a processing server capable of detecting anomalies such as potholes or a burnt-out street light. The system then uses the web portal to report these findings to the relevant authorities.
Project co-ordinator Claudia Maltoni said: “At this point, GHOST is designed primarily for reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations, monitoring public garbage collection and detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking spots occupied by unauthorised vehicles.
“In addition to these basic functions, we have also identified more advanced services, such as spotting bus lane and congestion charging area violations, which will be implemented at a later date.”
The GHOST system’s key differentiator is its use of Galileo positioning, which gives it the capability to take autonomous snapshots with an error range of one to ten metres, depending on the size of the POI. In densely populated urban environments, such a level of service is only possible with the combined use of Galileo, inertial sensors and Kalman filters.
Another unique feature is a free smartphone application that citizens can use to collect geo-localised snapshots.
Maltoni added: “Whenever an individual user sees an anomaly within a city’s infrastructure, all they have to do is snap a picture with their smartphone.
“This level of engagement not only enhances the overall system, but also empowers individual users to play a key role in urban upkeep.”
GHOST proposes a competitive way to improve the efficiency of monitoring a city’s operations and infrastructure. Once finalised, the system will enable faster detection of double parking or road deterioration and help reduce traffic, accidents and pollution.
The project is working to make GHOST technology commercially available.