The University of California, Berkeley and Japanese operator NTT plan to launch a connected campus pilot. According to NTT, the project will use technology to transform the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation Department by analyzing patterns, reducing traffic congestion and increasing pedestrian safety in the Bancroft Way area of the campus.
The pilot will incorporate NTT’s Accelerate Smart data platform and Dell Technologies’ modular data center infrastructure for edge deployments of high-definition optical sensors and IoT devices that monitor traffic-related issues. These smart capabilities are expected to provide data to power enhanced traffic management and mobility. As a first step in this connected campus initiative, UC Berkeley will use vehicle counting and classification to make informed decisions and develop specific solutions.
As part of the pilot, NTT and Dell will implement smart IoT and safety and security innovations that support the university’s Parking and Transportation Department, such as real-time alerts and traffic statistics that improve predictions and outcomes. With high-quality data, UC Berkeley can curb the congestion caused by events, ride share traffic, delivery vehicles and transit operations.
The pilot program is designed to provide automated deployment and operation of necessary ICT resources from devices and networks to the cloud.
Following the initial period, UC Berkeley, NTT and Dell plan to evaluate whether to extend the pilot and add additional locations and use cases on campus.
In this era of diminishing revenue from traditional mobile-service sources, operators are constantly searching for new revenue streams and new ways to be relevant in multiple marketplaces. Working with technology partners on innovative value-added services is one of the main ways in which these aims can be met, and the IoT is one of the main venues in which that can happen.
In this upcoming project, NTT is partnering with Dell Technologies to deploy an IoT solution on a large scale, for traffic management purposes. While major operators such as NTT already have a great deal of knowledge and experience with regard to IoT, a technology partner such as Dell can vastly boost their ability to provide cutting-edge products.
It is noteworthy, we think, that the project is centered on vehicular and pedestrian traffic in a university at a time when most higher-learning institutions are shut down due to the pandemic, with timetables for reopening very much in up in the air. The University of California system, in particular, announced this week that most of its campuses likely will not reopen on their normal fall schedule. So the fact that this initiative has just been announced seems to cut against the grain of pandemic-driven hesitance with regard to investment. Of course, the project has only been announced and has not yet begun, but it indicates hopeful forward thinking among the three partners. When the reopening process gets firmly underway, NTT, Dell, and UC Berkeley will be ready.