Presentation of GHOST Project Results

2 February 2017

The GHOST team has just concluded the Final Review meeting in Athens, Greece, on January 24th-25th, presenting the final results of the two-years work project and its related future exploitations, also considering that the GHOST system has been declared as “close-to-market” product by the GSA in the “Horizon 2020 Applications in Satellite Navigation 2017” presentation. The Consortium is now working on a concrete Business Plan for the solution, in order to exploit the project’s outcome in the most promising markets.

In Europe, the number of Smart Cities is multiplying: in order to tackle the growing needs and to guarantee an efficient city planning and maintenance, most cities are engaged in massive investments in many key areas including street lighting, road maintenance, traffic and waste management. In parallel, public transportation systems (e.g. buses and trams) are continuously evolving in terms of coverage, comfort and technology.
In this context, the exploitation of E-GNSS technologies and the integration with other sensors is a key element to find concrete solutions for current and future smart cities creating, in turn, both public and private benefits.

To target these needs, a Consortium of six companies composed by Teletel and Irida Labs (Greece), Bitgear and Arriva (Serbia), BUS COMPANY (Italy) and ALPHA Consult (UK) and one research institute, ISMB, is conducting a Location Based Service (LBS) project relying on Galileo and EGNOS positioning and advanced image processing under the GSA (European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency) H2020 framework. The Galileo Enhancement as Booster of the Smart Cities (GHOST) project aimed at designing, developing and validating an intelligent system for vehicles to take advantage of the public transportation fleet routes, towards enabling the development of new cross-functional applications. In particular, the system allows automatically taking pictures of predefined Points Of Interest (POIs) along the public transport networks, based on the accurate position of the mobile vehicle.

The GHOST concept

The system mainly focuses on providing valuable information to public administrations but other final users can also benefit from the adoption of the proposed solution, such as garbage management companies or traffic police departments, just to mention some examples.
In fact, main services that GHOST is designed to provide, encompasses:
• reporting street lighting anomalies and road deteriorations;
monitoring public garbage completion level;
• detecting double parking infractions or disabled parking occupied by unauthorized vehicles.

The solution is also extended to citizens through a dedicated GHOST mobile App, free-of charge and already downloadable from the main App Markets. Thanks to it and on voluntary basis, citizens can contribute by collecting geo-localized snapshots using their smartphones when they are detecting any anomalies on city infrastructures. This engagement enhances the overall system and gives a key role to people, supporting not only the development of smart cities but also creating smart citizens.

GHOST results and ways forward

The GHOST project started in January 2015 and up to now the Consortium has accomplished significant results such as the development of:
• the intelligent integrated system for vehicles based on a camera and a GALILEO receiver;
• the Intelligent integrated system instances for the different use cases;
• the smartphone application;
• a publicly available GALILEO measurements database.

Reaching the final stages of the project, in November 2016 a Test Readiness Meeting (TRM) with a live-demo took place in Belgrade (Serbia), with the utilization of one GHOST-fitted bus. The twenty-six participants took a bus ride along the predefined route for about 20 minutes and all participants have witnessed eight points of interest covering different use-cases. Afterwards, a live operation of smartphone application was demonstrated on POIs.

If you are interested in the solution and you want to learn more, is it possible to follow the GHOST project official page or the Twitter page.