Two Japanese companies are planning to offer big data solutions to the management of the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) for road maintenance using Japan’s state-of-the-art Quasi-Zenith satellite or Michibiki.
Tokyo-based Pacific Consultants Co. Ltd. and Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global) showed to the media that one of the four satellites of Michibiki was able to monitor the state of road conditions on Nlex.
The Michibiki satellite signal was linked with the pre-installed sensors in the cars passing through the expressway.
In two aerial scans last October 2023 and February 2024 presented to the media Friday that Michibiki system was able to accurately identify and record in the map every bump, elevation or pot hole in Nlex.
Such data is important, according tothe Japanese consultants, as expressway management would be more “proactive” in anticipating roads that would likely be damaged or are already damaged. This could lead to lower maintenance costs.
“We think that the [use of Michibiki satellite technology] will be helpful [in solving] the road infrastructure, transportation operation and maintenance issues in the Philippines,” Shusaku Nakamura, technical manager of Pacific Consultants, said.
Soichiro Hayashi, deputy general manager of OC Global, said he is hoping that with the results of the feasibility study, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) would tap the company as its solutions partner.
“The Philippines is an emerging, promising market. As you can see, outside, so many buildings and the roads are expanding, and then some of the roads are already on the stage of maintenance,” Hayasi said, adding that the company is planning to expand to other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.
Big data from Michibiki may also be used for other purposes, such as disaster mitigation.
Akihito Hitomi, first secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Manila, said the ¥40-million (P15 million) feasibility study was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as part of the cooperation agreement that it signed with its Philippine counterpart—the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Michibiki is a Japanese technology developed by the Japanese government to augment the US Global Positioning System in the Asia-Pacific region. It has contracted the Japanese companies to offer data solutions services to companies overseas.
Image credits: BusinessMirror file photo