Adaptive Traffic Law Enforcement using IoT devices

by Naief Budawelah

In our region (the Middle East) it is clear that in near future city traffic planning and managing would become one of the most critical aspects of cities management. The number of vehicles is increasing rapidly and today is in multiple folds compared to a decade ago. Most of these countries have an expanding road network but with a limited infrastructure. An article in Arab news stated that a 19 person is dying daily due to traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia, by 2014 the government decided to enforce traffic control and monitoring (19 die daily in KSA road accidents, 2013).

19 person is dying daily due to traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia

Recently traffic law enforcement authority; has been privatizing the traffic law enforcement, and awarded operators from the private sector license to operate as a traffic law enforcer in the different region within the country. Their duty ranged from deploying a fixed traffic violation camera (a fixed location) over intersections to monitor red light violation and in some street for a speed violation. Also, a mobile unit is used to perform the same task was used to minimize cost and increase efficiency.

The Operator is also responsible for collecting, verifying, validating, and violation registration with a national information center, which is a unique process requirement compared to other countries. The operator is responsible for buying and deploying, running the equipment and is paid back a percentage of the violation ticket value. A survey was conducted last year by these multiple operators and the common violations per day were around 35,000 violation per day (speeding and red-light violation).

the common violations per day were around 35,000 violation per day

img1

Figure 1. A High-Level Operator Business Process Flow

While the operators keep tweaking and accelerating the validation and verification processes (validation is a manual process; where an operator is required to validate the violation was a valid one, and the verification is also a manual process; to verify that the vehicle will not be reported as stolen, nor a police or an ambulance vehicle).  However, the most important step in that process is the collection, which consists of deploying a fleet of mobile units to different streets and intersections.

Mobile units used for two reasons, the lack of internet connectivity in most of the sites that need monitoring, and reducing the cost due to a higher cost for the fixed locations and the need for a resource to collect the violation packages (images) manually.

In the daily operation, the Historical statistics is used to predict which streets it would be optimal for the deployment while historical statistics is a good step, we believe IoT would increase efficiency in traffic law enforcement and also provide a real-time feed to the traffic management control system.

The Internet of things (IoT) is a new paradigm that describes all objects which are equipped with micro controllers, transceivers and a secure communication protocol to communicate with each other and the users (Zanella et al. 2014). IoT has much potential in many industrial sectors, and for personal, examples of IoT benefits are Health monitoring, home Automation, smart power grids and many other fields. In Smart Cities, the primary focus is to manage Traffic and resolve congestion, but that does not mean that IoT can be used to enforce traffic law by keeping cost down and increasing efficiency.

The proposed system consists of a small IoT device with an embedded radar module

The proposed system consists of a small IoT device with an embedded radar module. The device will provide car counting and classification data in real-time which will be transmitted over a low-speed internet bandwidth connection (Edge/3G ); and sent back to a data processing center, where data is logged and analyzed using Big-Data analysis software and also used to train a learning model( A.I. Expert System) which later on can provide feedback to scheduling supervisors about which location is best for deployment.

img2

Figure 2. An Abstract Diagram of the Proposed Concept

Also, the collected data can be mined in real-time to provide congestion detection, road statistics and accident detection with decent accuracy that allow TMC (Traffic Management Center) operators to make an intelligent decision about routing traffic to different roads or provide feedback to drivers.

The traffic information is an essential source of data in smart cities which when applied to a proper analysis it can benefit both residents and the government. While residents can use this information to plan their schedule by factoring in the arrival times at their destinations. Governments can monitor the traffic congestion in the smart city in real-time, with fewer resource and in the much efficient way.

While vision based car counting & classification systems are already available in many cities, they require higher bandwidth connections, and they also need a much powerful hardware capable of doing image processing which is not the case in IoT (Talari et al. 2017). Also, the real value comes from mining the data.

img3

Figure 3. the Benefits to the Value Chain Vs. The Level of Analytics (VITRIA, 2015)

The proposed system provides benefits by increasing efficiency in deploying the mobile unit which can increase collection and decrease required resource yielding to better profit margin.

img4Figure 4. The Proposed Collection Process

 

Figure 5. Dubai traffic violation processing (KHALEEJ TIMES, 2017)

 

References:

Talari, S., Shafie-khah, M., Siano, P., Loia, V., Tommasetti, A. and Catalão, J. (2017) ‘A Review of Smart Cities Based on the Internet of Things Concept,’ Energies, 10(4), 421.

VITRIA. 2015. Vitria’s Analytics Value Chain is The Key to Timely Outcomes in IoT [Online]. Available: http://www.vitria.com/vitrias-analytics-value-chain/ [Accessed 26 Aug 2017].

Zanella, A., Member, S., Bui, N., Castellani, A., Vangelista, L., Member, S. and Zorzi, M. (2014) ‘Internet of Things for Smart Cities,’ EEE INTERNET OF THINGS JOURNAL, 1, Pages 22-32.

19 die daily in KSA road accidents (2013) [online]. Available from: http://www.arabnews.com/news/464678 [accessed 25 August 2017].

5 violations other than speeding that Dubai Police radars catch, 2017. Youtube. Directed by KHALEEJ TIMES.

IoT of the future

salford

by Naief Budawelah    |   Student ID: @00508322

Blog Post – 3 /6

Moving IoT devices fast-forwards because of the rapid adoption and implementation of IoT sensors and smart devices in various industries. Sensors become smaller every day, cheaper and they drain less power and have more computer horsepower. Also, the capital investment for enterprise IoT become very minimal. IoT devices are everywhere, from the traffic light helping to minimize traffic congestion to the monitor your vital health signs. Sensors are pervasive in your everyday lifestyle.

The more IoT enables devices available to raise the need for more data storage, and the more significant storage space become raised another demand for Cloud computing, thus result in  Bigdata. Thus provide the basic recipe for insight and data analytics and lead in systematic decision making (AI system), which will give a tremendous value from those collected data. (Mann, 2015)

With all these collected data drive the technology and the analytical methods that can be applied to streaming data for IoT device, data in motion. Thus result to automation for all of our life aspect, which will lead eventually to business to monetize the IoT

With all mentioned capability at hand, new industries are born and starting to investigate opportunities for deploying sensors to manage the performance of processes or machinery better, as well as to track the behavior of peoples and anticipate their needs and aims.

One thing is certain the IoT era is inevitable

there are as many as 24 billion or more activated IoT devices by the year 2020—a staggering number of 200% growth figure 2.1. (First, 2017)

f0cbbb1d043a3cfb4e4dde1a4d2ccf9c

Figure 2.1 IoT Infographics (Cyrus, 2018)

One thing is certain the IoT era is inevitable. Wherever it goes, it will get there faster.

The strength of IoT devices lies in their ability to communicate with each other. The more you have on a net, the more complex tasks they can achieve by combining their functions. If your smart car can warn you about the weather and auto-drive you to work, that’s great.  With a mixture of IoT data streams and Bigdata analytic make things get smarter every day.

Below is an excellent example of implementing an adaptive synthetic sensor where it could recognize the environment around us, and send all these raw data to the computer to analyze and give feedback for that particular event. (Laput, 2017)

Figure 2.2 Synthetic Sensors: Towards General-Purpose Sensing (Laput, 2017)

 

References:

CYRUS. 2018. How the Internet of Things Will Change Our World {Infographic} [Online]. http://www.best-infographics.com: Best Infographics. Available: http://www.best-infographics.com/internet-things-will-change-world-infographic/ [Accessed 11/6 2018].

FIRST, C. 2017. Where the Internet of Things Stands Today [Online]. cfirstcomputerconsultants.com: C First Computer Consultants. Available: https://cfirstcomputerconsultants.com/2017/09/08/internet-things-stands-today/ [Accessed 11/6 2018].

LAPUT, G., ZHANG, Y. AND HARRISON. 2017. Synthetic Sensors: Towards General-Purpose Sensing [Online]. http://www.figlab.com: Future Interfaces Group. Available: http://www.figlab.com/#/synthetic-sensors-2017/ [Accessed 11/6 2018].

MANN, J. 2015. The Internet of Things: Opportunities and Applications across Industries. In: ANALYTICS, I. I. F. (ed.). sas: sas.

 

Feedback article/post after attending a Webinar/Webcast

salford

by Naief Budawelah    |   Student ID: @00508322

Title: Android Things for IoT products embedded devices webinar
Speaker: Vince Wu, Lead Product management for Android Things


In the live webcast, lead product manager for Android Things Mr. Wu, start to list all the positive things about IoT, and the challenges meet the IoT creator when developing it is own OS for his IoT hardware.

In the webcast he mentioned building an IoT device with AI capabilities will require the developer to delegate cloud-based AI.

He also indicated the difficulty when securing that IoT device, and the cost impact of building secure codes.

He also mentioned the debugging challenges of that kind of codes he develops for his/her IoT device might occur. Moreover, also, keep that device up to date is another challenge. Moreover, Google also builds their own devices with their codes.

So, Google took the decision to unify this world and solve all these problems with Android Things product, and it is free of charge, that is mean no license fees no setup cost fees at all.

Moreover, he mentioned that Android Things is fully managed solution.

That is mean Google will be entirely responsible for the OS part of the IoT device. As well as unifying the SoM (system on modules), which also will standardize and certify know IC manufacturers like Mediatek, Qualcomm, NXP, Raspberry Pi and many more.

He also indicated that Google would support the certified SoMs for at least three years, that is mean Google will push all regular security patches and stability fixes periodically during this period.

In the presentation, he announced Android Things version 1.0. He also illustrates the roadmap for Android Things from the year 2018 until 2023, and demonstrate the major releases from 1.0 to 3.0, and indicated the support time for each major release in 3 years.

In the presentation, he illustrates Android Things software stack layers (Kernel, Device Configuration, Security, HAL, Android Framework + Android Things Support Library, Applications OEM apps, 3P apps).

Then he elaborated more on the Android Things Support Library, which includes all the services needed to communicate with our IoT device API ( I/ O, drivers, settings, device updates .. etc)

Then he talks more about Device configuration and security layers.

Then he illustrates some android codes, to show how easy to program with Android Things.

He also he talks about Android Things community hub.

In the end, he portrayed how we can develop our codes with Android Things, and list all the related product to do that such as:

  • Android SDK
  • Android Studio
  • Play Services Firebase
  • Cloud Platform

Moreover, then talk about Google Play service, and indicated that services are optional and not mandatory to develop an IoT app.

Moreover, finally, he talks about Management Console. He illustrated the prototyping process starting by developing the SoMs; then pick the right portfolio of the certified SoMs, then the final production stage. Then he indicated that the same underlying construction for IoT is the same what Google uses for their own devices.

Then the presenter invites the audience to visit the Sandbox demos; where google demonstrates IoT devices prototypes under one campus.

Conclusion, I find the webcast very informative and the presenter well informed about what he present. The presentation was a good insight for the future of IoT and what technology giant like Google can contribute in this field.

Mr. Wu’s statement is a confirmed way to demonstrate IoT benefits. Especially as the webinar was geared toward specific industry and the audience were mixed from manufacturing industry and freelance developers.

His portrayal of the future roadmap was a great thing in the presentation. However, he should talk about more specialize industry development for IoT such as the healthcare industry.

Moreover,  for three years support; was short period especially for security support, for example, if an IoT door device implemented then it is a problem if after three years google will not support that device anymore. (Chahid et al., 2017)

Overall, the webcast was very informative and well presented, and it was precise and well structure.


Android Things presentation (Google I/O ’18)(Wu, 2018)

 

References:

CHAHID, Y., BENABDELLAH, M. & AZIZI, A. Internet of things security.  2017 International Conference on Wireless Technologies, Embedded and Intelligent Systems (WITS), 19-20 April 2017 2017. 1-6.
WU, V. 2018. What’s new in Android Things [Online]. google.com. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_PI_Npb3-U&t=319s [Accessed 24/6 2018].

IoT of the future

salford

by Naief Budawelah    |   Student ID: @00508322

Blog Post – 6 /6

IoT Security (the Dark Side of the IoT)

The internet of the future will be measured in trillions of dollars,  and the number of IoT devices connected to the internet will be measured in billions, and that number is a disruptive number in term of social impact in our life.

As IoT grows and becomes more advanced and much smaller day by day, it also opens the doors for a new security threat. While those devices are tiny and drain low energy and have low calculation horsepower CPU, thus making encryption on the other hand very complicated; which make it prone to hackers attacks.

Hackers have already made many attempts to download IoT devices with the DDoS attack, and they succeeded in many occasions. For example, in 2016 a malware hit surveillance DVR system, that malware called “Mirai” access vulnerable IoT devices using their weakness and surprisingly was the default password and usernames?!, this attack caused one of the biggest online hosting companies around the globe to shut down their services momentarily. (Dignan, 2016)

Moreover, the malware was an “open source” malware, which makes it even worse, because anyone with the evil intention on the internet can modify this malware to become his. Therefore, antivirus and security companies around the world work to find a cure for such as attack quickly, however the risk still there even with minimal impact.

Another example in the healthcare sector, CNN has reported, that FDA Agency found a vulnerability in cardiac IoT device in the major hospitals in the USA, where a hacker can gain access to that device and change the pacing rhythm or deplete the battery or apply a lethal shock to the patient. (Larson, 2017)

As IoT grows and becomes more advanced and much smaller day by day, it also opens the doors for a new security threat.

So, what about Android Things does this technology solves the security problem of IoT for good?

Indeed, but until Android Things become the norm of IoT devices, which I believe will take a long time until then. However, we still need to deal with this kind of attacks from time to time.

It is very similar to “Terminator” movie where machines attack humans after a virus infected “Skynet network”.

However, technology is also evolving, nowadays CPUs become smaller and smaller but much powerful than the CPUs and RISK processers of the 80’s and 90’s.

 

Figure 6.1 Mirai attack in 2016 (Grau, 2016)

Conclusion:

IoT era is inevitable, and the advances in this field are significant. However,  in any new technology, there are some challenges, but IoT technology will prevail and become the next human milestone since the stone age.

References:

DIGNAN, L. 2016. Dyn confirms Mirai botnet involved in distributed denial of service attack [Online]. zdnet.com. Available: https://www.zdnet.com/article/dyn-confirms-mirai-botnet-involved-in-distributed-denial-of-service-attack/ [Accessed 22/6 2018].
GRAU, A. 2016. Mirai Botnet Shows Just How Vulnerable the IoT Really Is [Online]. www.iotsecurityfoundation.org. Available: https://www.iotsecurityfoundation.org/mirai-botnet-shows-just-how-vulnerable-the-iot-really-is/ [Accessed 22/6 2018].
LARSON, S. 2017. FDA confirms that St. Jude’s cardiac devices can be hacked [Online]. money.cnn.com: CNN. Available: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/technology/fda-st-jude-cardiac-hack/index.html [Accessed 22/6 2018].