University of Oulu

O. E. Marai, T. Taleb and J. Song, "Roads Infrastructure Digital Twin: A Step Toward Smarter Cities Realization," in IEEE Network, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 136-143, March/April 2021, doi: 10.1109/MNET.011.2000398

Roads infrastructure digital twin : a step toward smarter cities realization

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Author: Marai, Oussama El1; Taleb, Tarik1,2,3; Song, JaeSeung3
Organizations: 1Department of Communications and Networking, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, Finland
2Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Oulu University, Finland
3Department of Computer and Information Security, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, South Korea
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-03


Digital Twin is a new concept that consists of creating an up-to-date virtual asset in cyberspace which mimics the original physical asset in most of its aspects, ultimately to monitor, analyze, test, and optimize the physical asset. In this article, we investigate and discuss the use of the digital twin concept of the roads as a step toward realizing the dream of smart cities. To this end, we propose the deployment of a Digital Twin Box to the roads that is composed of a 360° camera and a set of IoT devices connected to a Single Onboard Computer. The Digital Twin Box creates a digital twin of the physical road asset by constantly sending real-time data to the edge/cloud, including the 360° live stream, GPS location, and measurements of the temperature and humidity. This data will be used for realtime monitoring and other purposes by displaying the live stream via head-mounted devices or using a 360° web-based player. Additionally, we perform an object detection process to extract all possible objects from the captured stream. For some specific objects (person and vehicle), an identification module and a tracking module are employed to identify the corresponding objects and keep track of all video frames where these objects appeared. The outcome of the latter step would be of utmost importance to many other services and domains such as national security. To show the viability of the proposed solution, we have implemented and conducted real-world experiments where we focus more on the detection and recognition processes. The achieved results show the effectiveness of the proposed solution in creating a digital twin of the roads, a step forward to enable self-driving vehicles as a crucial component of smart mobility, using the Digital Twin Box.

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Series: IEEE network
ISSN: 0890-8044
ISSN-E: 1558-156X
ISSN-L: 0890-8044
Volume: 35
Issue: 2
Pages: 136 - 143
Article number: 9267778
DOI: 10.1109/MNET.011.2000398
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work is partially supported by the Academy of Finland Project CSN, under Grant Agreement 311654, and the 6Genesis project under Grant No. 318927. Prof. Song was supported by an Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP) (No. 2018-0-01456, the AutoMaTa project).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
311654 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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