Proximus, Saroléa and ML6 test 5G app for safer traffic

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Proximus, in collaboration with Saroléa, a Belgian brand of electric motorbikes, and ML6, a tech firm specialized in AI services, has successfully tested a new 5G application that could eventually contribute to safer traffic.

Therefore, an electric motorcycle was equipped with a 5G modem and a camera capable of identifying humans, vehicles or obstacles via artificial intelligence. The tests took place at the DronePort site in Sint-Truiden.

To put the application into practice, a mobile 5G router and an HD dashcam were installed on a Saroléa motorcycle. The connected dashcam sends images in real time to an AI-capable algorithm in the cloud, where they are analyzed and where obstacles on the road, such as pedestrians or other vehicles, are identified. The algorithm was developed by Ghent-based company ML6, specialized in AI applications.

The objective of the test sequence at this stage consisted mainly of identifying pedestrians along the route of the motorcycle in “real time” and with high reliability. The 5G connection was tested at different speeds and at different distances from the antenna.

With success, as the recognition and identification of obstacles proved to be more than 99% accurate, and the variations in speed and distance from the antenna did not have any impact on the stability of the connection, nor on latency.

Thus, the 5G application shows promise to contribute to safer traffic in the future. Thanks to further technological developments, the server could then send a warning to the driver on the basis of the images, or could force the motorcycle to slow down automatically from a distance.

Gaëtan Dewingaerden, Head of 5G at Proximus, said, “Through our 5G innovation platform, we are working with companies from a wide range of sectors on applications that can bring about positive change in our society. After previously testing the possibilities of 5G to reduce the use of herbicides in agriculture and to enrich the concert experience of music lovers, we are now giving a first impression of how the technology can contribute to safer traffic in the future. With these tests, we are highlighting our leading role in the field of 5G in Belgium.”

Bjorn Robbens, Co-owner of Saroléa, commented, “As a pioneer in electric two-wheelers, we believe the motorcycle fully deserves a place in the mobility mix. Leveraging technology to support drivers and make motorcycles safer can boost the popularity of this mode of transportation. 5G connectivity plays a crucial role in doing so! Sensors and cameras on our motorcycles continuously feed the AI models of our partner ML6. The data is analyzed in real-time and indicates where dangerous situations arise. The technology will initially be further tested on our racing motorcycles and in time it will also be offered to our customers.”

Nicolas Deruytter, CEO, Skyhaus/ML6, said, “5G opens a world of possibilities for new intelligent computer vision applications. As ML6 we believe that real-time video processing will drive innovation in a range of areas such as monitoring, security, quality control and real-time analytics for government, industry and agriculture. 5G allows connecting multiple high-resolution video streams to the cloud where they are analyzed in real-time and the results are sent back to the scene or to a control room for intervention. By collaborating with Sarolea and Proximus on this test, we can advise our customers better on whether to choose an edge vs streaming architecture, in terms of performance, scalability and cost.”