The vital passageways carrying people and goods, essential to our lives and businesses.
NEXCO-West administers Japan’s expressways in four regions providing high speed expressway services for a large portion of the country.

Mr. Takemoto:
We manage approximately 3,400 km of roads.
Obviously roads must be available for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we are moving forward with taking measures that aim to provide 100% of safety and reliability to all our customers.

In addition to this, a large-scale disaster can disrupt the flow of operations, and so it has become increasingly important to enhance the traffic control system's ability to quickly recover from a disaster.

NEXCO-West deployed a new backbone network using NEC SDN Solutions in order to mutually back-up traffic control systems previously operated independently by four regional branches.

Mr. Yamamoto:
Several sensors, measurement devices and phones are situated alongside roads for collecting and transmitting data.
This equipment is connected to traffic control centers in each region via networks, but each network operated independently of other networks, meaning in an emergency, rerouting to another traffic control center was effectively impossible.

SDN is used as an emergency backup, allowing for rapid modification of routing and connection destination. Even if a disaster strikes, control functionality can be switched to a remote traffic control center, allowing functionality to be maintained.

SDN's main feature is its ability to centrally control network equipment through software.
NEC is the first in the world to implement more than 200 SDN systems globally.

SDN enables faster disaster recovery and increases maintenance efficiency, which leads to safer expressway operation and service provision.

In addition, it will also expand possibilities for more convenient and useful services for customers in future.

Mr. Edahiro:
In order to flexibly manage various types of equipment, a mechanism for freely adding and modifying networks needs to be applied to the variety of networks currently in place.

Mr. Takemoto:
Our mission is to ensure our customers use our roads safely.
For this reason, it's essential to manage various kinds of information.
Thanks to this project's new core network, we've been able to enhance our information management processes.

NEC SDN Solutions will connect to the future and usher in a safer society.

Orchestrating a brighter world


Photo: Smooth highway management by software-defined networking

The West Nippon Expressway Company Limited (NEXCO-West), responsible for expressways in Western Japan, opted to introduce a software-defined networking (SDN) solution to help improve its disaster preparedness and rapid response capability. NEXCO-West's firm preference for NEC's OpenFlow SDN framework has already reaped far-reaching benefits, facilitating a far swifter and more flexible reconfiguration of traffic management networks in times of disaster. NEXCO-West is already looking at potential new areas in which it can deploy NEC SDN solutions to render its expressway network, and the Western Japan region, more attractive.

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(February 13, 2015)