NextGen IT company Trifork will develop and implement a new solution for the road directorates in Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland, using artificial intelligence and specially designed hardware to identify invasive plant species along public roads in order to prevent the spread of these invasive plants. Invasive species are one of the five primary causes of biodiversity loss in nature.
“Invasive plant species often spread along roads and then further into nature, where they outcompete native species. It is therefore particularly important for road authorities to stop the spread, and this can only be done through constant monitoring, as several of these species can be impossible to control once they have established themselves in an area,” says Kasper Anias Møller, Environmental and Nature Manager at the Danish Road Directorate.
The Road Directorate already monitors public Danish roads today to mitigate the negative impact of invasive plants on biodiversity. However, the monitoring is sporadic as it is manually conducted by biologists in service vehicles looking for unwanted plants such as rosa rugosa or lupine.
With Trifork’s solution, cameras on the service vehicles will consistently monitor the roadsides and use artificial intelligence to identify the invasive plant species from the vehicle. The information is automatically collected by the road authorities, allowing them to continuously track the location, number, and spread of invasive plants and implement the necessary preventive measures.
“Artificial intelligence is an obvious solution to some of the climate challenges we face. With this solution, we create valuable data that the road authorities in the three countries can use to slow down and prevent destructive developments in nature,” says Nicholai Stålung, VP of AI Solutions at Trifork.
In delivering the solution, Trifork can draw on its extensive experience and expertise in artificial intelligence in the field of image and video analysis, which includes innovative solutions for baggage handling, offshore monitoring of substations for wind farms, and quality assurance of products in the construction and civil engineering industry.
Trifork and the Road Directorate are already collaborating on a solution for monitoring roadkill, allowing for preventive measures to be taken where most accidents occur.