ITE students win Huawei’s Tech4City Competition for designing intelligent traffic light that detects mobility aids

The trio won a total of $18,000 for their project.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 14 September 2023, 2:03 PM

A team of three Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students were awarded $18,000 for designing an intelligent traffic light that detected mobility aids used by elderly and PWDs.

Called Team Mobility, the group emerged winners in the second edition of the Huawei Tech4City Competition. They won the prize of $15,000, and an additional $3,000 for being named as the best innovation in mobility.

Team Mobility’s project was designed with the aim of making Singapore’s traffic light system inclusive and safer for persons with mobility conditions, while maintaining traffic flow integrity.

The trio – Praveen Nagatheran, Cleophas Ow and Zamien Ng – utilised Huawei Cloud and its ModelArts AI development platform for machine learning training. Through extensive testing of the AI tool, the group’s project achieved an 83 per cent accuracy rate in detecting wheelchairs from test images and a mean average precision (mAP) score of 84.9 per cent for identifying walking aids.

The Huawei Tech4City Competition hopes to empower local youths to create innovative solutions using digital technology to build a sustainable and liveable Singapore. Each team had to submit an original proposal based on five themes – Well-being, Learning, Mobility, Finance and Energy.

Team Mobility will be enrolled into Huawei’s flagship CSR programme Seeds for the Future and join the Huawei Asia Pacific Seeds Tour from Sep 15 to 19.

Team leader Zamien said that the team were “honoured” to win the competition. “(It) gave us the opportunity to learn the future of ICT technologies and push beyond our abilities in designing a safer place for the different communities in Singapore,” he added.

Team Payment in the Dark from the National University of Singapore (NUS) came in second, for their innovation that aids visually impaired individuals who encounter difficulties with cashless payment systems due to their dependence on visual interfaces.

The team – comprising Zhetao Qu, Josiah Lee, Wynnie Chia and Rachel Lim – suggested enhancing current online payment platforms by incorporating voice recognition functionalities, such as the Explore-by-Touch feature. It can be done through VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android.

They were awarded $8,000.

Team Gnomes from NUS, comprising Wan Rong Tan, Celestine Lu, Sharmaine Seet and Tong Zheng Hong, came in third, winning a prize amount of $5,000.

The project, called Energy Hero, was designed to help Singaporeans consolidate their household energy usage in a one-stop platform and reduce their energy consumption. The application employs smart plugs to meticulously monitor electricity usage, providing real-time personalised insights to assist households in Singapore.

To motivate users to cultivate energy-saving habits, Energy Hero will also have a series of challenges that users can take on to earn rewards.

The five other finalists – ARTiculate, Silver Broadcast, Cake LLC, Flow.Ai and City4All – received S$1,000 each in cash.

This year’s Huawei Tech4City Competition had over 370 participants forming 144 teams and 89 submitted proposals.

During the shortlisting phase, Huawei said that it evaluated proposals based on the depth of research, innovativeness, feasibility, social impact, utilisation of technology and the logical implementation of each idea.

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