From alleys to streets and highways, these work as both arteries and veins – connecting point to point in cities. So, needless to say, these areas can dramatically improve life in smart cities when integrated with intelligent infrastructure. The idea of creating ‘Smart Streets’ is rapidly advancing with features like intelligent streetlights and street furniture. This market is set to rise over the coming years with several research institutes and companies working on developing intelligent road solutions.
As per sources, effective smart street infrastructure is need-based, maintenance-based and efficiency-based. Hence, focusing on these goals, here are a few latest smart road initiatives taking cities to the next level.
Smart Street And Smart Highway To Play Multiple Roles In Sheffield
Sheffield is soon going to get a smart highway network. The project is a part of a smart street technology overhaul lauded as the biggest of its kind in the UK. Streets Ahead operator Amey is working in collaboration with smart city operator Connexin to deliver smart highway efficiency that benefits everyone. In between the first and second quarter of 2020, Amey will install thousands of individual sensors. These will communicate information wirelessly through smart sensors deployed to the city’s assets. Along with this, the company will use IoT foundation to digitally connect essential highway maintenance services. As a result, sensors will inform operatives about the status of smart street infrastructure in real-time.
Amey will use CityOS platform of Connexin to integrate, view, control and respond to information to improve the maintenance services. This will improve the roadway landscape across Sheffield, from Stocksbridge to Mosborough. The CityOS platform is being delivered by Connexin in a partnership with Cisco and Quantela.
When the technology is deployed, the highway maintenance service will receive real-time notifications for the following.
- Empty high street bins before they overflow
- Water trees to preserve the biodiversity of the city
- Refill grit bin ready for icy conditions
- Clear gulleys to mitigate the risk of flash flooding
According to Amey, the smart highway network will reduce air pollution with a reduction in staff journeys throughout the city. For residents, it will serve them with a cleaner and safer living environment. All put together, this project is expected to unlock economic value by making the highway network more sustainable and effective.
Smart Parking Guidance In Cologne
Energy provider RheinEnergie AG is in charge of managing the Smart City Cologne initiative in Germany. The initiative is aimed at reducing emissions and developing innovation, mobility, and digitalisation. A part of this is a smart parking project for which Cleverciti Systems, the leader in smart parking guidance and management solutions has been selected by RheinEnergie AG.
Cleverciti sensors and guidance systems will be installed in the city’s busiest urban district, Cologne Nippes. The AI-powered sensors will be mounted on Rhein Energie’s lamp posts on 770 on-street parking spaces. Cleverciti will provide in-depth guidance to aid drivers to make intelligent decisions based on live data. It will inform you about fully occupied on-street parking spaces as well as the available spaces. AI-powered sensors will provide exact parking availability data displayed locally on Cleverciti’s LED displays delivering live guidance to drivers.
This parking guidance system will exclude the unnecessary roaming of drivers in search of space which is associated with increased waste time and emissions. As per Germany’s National Platform for the Future of Mobility, the deployment of smart parking solutions could cut down carbon emissions by 900,000.
The installation as part of Smart City Cologne serves as the most comprehensive on-street parking guidance and management system in the world. This is as stated by Thomas Hohenacker, CEO of Cleverciti.
InLinks – SmartPhone Hubs Emerging In London
Phone booths are now a thing of the past. But in the UK, similar yet smarter digital hubs are emerging throughout the country. The streets of London already have this infrastructure up and running which is called ‘InLinks.’
InLinkUK is modern panel units that are being installed on smart streets in the place of BT’s old payphones. InLinkUK initiative is being furthered by a joint venture. It is between Intersection, the company behind LinkNYC and Primesight, a leading UK out-of-home media company In partnership with BT.
These act as digital points that enable users to perform multiple tasks. Hundreds of users up to 100 metres of the area from InLinkUK can use its ultrafast WiFi. A touchscreen tablet at each hub enables people to make phone calls anywhere in the UK. It also allows navigating places using maps and directions and getting access to Council Services.
Additionally, InLinksUK has digital displays that show advertisements, and real-time data on weather forecasts, travel updates and important messages for the citizens. The best part is that all these services are available to local and national users for free. Revenue from advertisements on the InLink digital displays serve as funding for the deployment and maintenance of these smart hubs. The first InLinkUK was established on Camden High Street in 2017. As of May 2019, there are 435 InLink across the UK.
These digital hubs will serve people in the UK with better connectivity and digital equality. Going further, InLinkUK is working with councils on how each community can avail the greatest benefit.
Alongside this, it is also seeking to optimise its features. For example, the company is planning to install environmental sensors that can capture live data on air and noise pollution, temperature and traffic conditions. These could provide greater benefits to cities and citizens.
Musical Roads In Romania
Countries like Denmark, Japan, Hungary, Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, and the US have built roads that play music as vehicles pass by. By altering the spacing of reverberation trips, a series of mixed notes are produced as vehicles drive over them. This initiative is called ‘musical roads’ that are built with the aim to help drivers drive safely. They warn of any hazards, help them stay under a specific speed limit and more importantly, prevent accidents.
Lately, Romania is planning to build such musical roads in the country this year. The project is initiated by the National Company for Road Infrastructure Management (CNAIR). The road safety strategy of CNAIR is to conduct pilot projects wherein musical roads will prompt drivers to reduce speed and drive more attentively. In 2020, the first pilot project will be implemented on the Bucharest-Pitesti motorway. A segment of the AI motorway near the exit to Pitesti will be turned into a singing road. The musical road will play popular Romanian songs like Drumurile Noastre by Dan Spataru or Ciocarlia.
Transverse, resonant marking will be made at specific intervals with each having a certain number of lines. This will help the hertz transform into musical sounds. A driver will be able to hear the melodious sounds at certain speeds that are imposed by road signs. Hence, this way, drivers will be able to respect the speed limits. While these are musical roads, smart cities are also implementing methods to harvest energy from roads. Some use solar energy and others use mechanical vibrations generated by vehicles as they move. Both solar and mechanical energy then produces the electrical energy that powers street lights, signage, and traffic signals. Moreover, there are also ways to stored harvested energy in electric power grids.