HCM City needs to use AI to regulate traffic: international conference

December 14, 2020 - 07:01
HCM City needs to use artificial intelligence (AI) in transportation to address problems like traffic congestion and accidents, an international conference heard on December 11.


HCM City’s smart traffic monitoring and operation centre. Experts told an international conference on December 11 that the city should use artificial intelligence to improve its traffic situation. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực

HCM CITY — HCM City needs to use artificial intelligence (AI) in transportation to address problems like traffic congestion and accidents, an international conference heard.

Speaking at the conference on applying AI in transportation in the city on Friday, Trần Quang Lâm, director of the Department of Transport, said: “AI is used to predict and detect accidents by converting traffic sensors into intelligence agents using cameras.” 

“Along with development of public transport, there should also be traffic optimisation solutions that use technology.”

He urged scientists, software developers and AI researchers to come up with solutions for traffic problems in HCM City and across the country.

He said the city would continue to use IT for traffic management and operation.

Last year the city established the Urban Transport Management Centre to particularly manage Võ Văn Kiệt and Mai Chí Thọ highways and other roads that suffer from traffic jams, especially in Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, and Tân Bình. 

Đoàn Văn Tấn, director of the centre, said it would focus on research into AI, especially for traffic management to improve planning for public transport infrastructure.

The integrated centre has a fully automatic control system with 36 scenarios and nearly 200 CCTV cameras, automatic weighing stations and others.

It is supported by an intelligent traffic system platform for better handling of violations and reducing traffic congestion and accidents.

“To promptly detect traffic accidents and inform commuters about the most convenient travel options, the use of AI is highly recommended,” Tấn said.

Alan Bromwich, target market concrete manager of Sika Vietnam, stressed the importance of AI in improving the efficiency of urban traffic management. 

With data pulled from the traffic forecast system, AI would help analyse traffic patterns, predict potential traffic incidents, optimise traffic flows, and suggest more efficient routes, he said.

AI also would play a major role in research and development of unmanned vehicles and management and maintenance of traffic systems, he said.

Traffic congestion and accident remain serious problems in HCM City, but it has great potential to apply AI to resolve them, according to the manager.

Prof Dr Nguyễn Ngọc Long, rector of the University of Transport of HCM City, said his university had in recent years applied AI in transportation and developed many practical products that are already in use. 

“We believe that the knowledge and experience shared at the conference will contribute to a sustainable transport industry and promote co-operation between schools, businesses and authorities at all levels.”

The city has an average population density of 4,150 people per square kilometre, and double that in the central districts, causing great pressure on traffic infrastructure.

According to the centre, the average number of trips per person per day is 3.16, higher than in most urban areas in the Asia Pacific region.

The city also has an increasing number of private vehicles, which is putting pressure on its transport infrastructure.

The conference was organised by the university and the department. — VNS