Last week we announced our first solution for Smart City applications aptly titled the Smart City Pilot Kit. The goal of the kit is to allow city, district and county councils to experiment with data capture technologies and use that data to support a business case as to why they should invest in a larger scale deployment.
What are the Challenges of a Smart City?
One of the challenges in justifying the investment in a "smart city" project like air quality monitoring or water level monitoring is that it is very difficult to quantify the financial benefit and often the benefit may require years of data capture before it is possible to quantitatively measure the return. It is therefore difficult to calculate a Return On Investment (ROI) for each individual program and consequently, the project never gets funded. Especially when the infrastructure cost for enabling the data capture is looked at in isolation for that single application and is used for the ROI calculation.
What are the possible solutions?
With the enLight Smart City Pilot Kit, the local authority can spend a small amount of money (£10-40k) to assess and/or prove a number of capabilities in one pilot:
- enLight offers a unique third option for lighting managers as the enLight HID Retrofit Kit for traditional street lights can halve energy bills and cut maintenance costs by more than 50% WITHOUT having to invest in LED (still lots of debate on the suitability of LED for street lighting) or enforce a part night lighting program.
- The lighting manager can test the enLight CMS capabilities for reporting energy consumption, reporting faults and providing remote control of dimming profiles at an individual light or group level. They will also experience the enhanced reporting of lamp post collisions, lantern vandalism or lantern mis-alignment thanks to the sensor pack included in the new DOLFin® Pro.
- The environmental team can get real time data across multiple locations on air quality (NO2 and ozone), noise levels and microclimate measurements (temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure).
- Co-locating multiple sensors on one lamp post enables the different data streams to be correlated based on GIS and timestamp variables so that the impact of temperature and/or humidity on NO2 levels can be assessed for the first time.
- The Highways/Drainage team can test the localised flood alert capabilities of the enLight system as it can detect the water table rising due to heavy rainfall from its location in the base of the lamp post, before it breaks ground and causes disruption. This may guide vehicles, via their preferred GPS app, to avoid that stretch of road or could alert people before they set off to their preferred Park and Ride location if it is likely to close due to flooding before they get there.
- The Economic Development/Local Communities team can also benefit by using the Bluetooth Beacon technology for High Street Reinvigoration projects to trigger location based adverts for local retail businesses or POI information triggers for statues or monuments in market towns or villages.
- As we add new sensors to the portfolio, different teams can utilise the network to trial new adult care services, for example, by using low cost temperature sensors to protect the elderly from hyperthermia or creating a very low cost geofence capability for those with early stage dementia
What's the feedback?
We have since received a number of enquiries from the public sector so clearly this is of interest to local authorities as their emphasis on Smart City capabilities increases. What is really resonating is that this kit is a prime example of a cost optimised solution for creating the connectivity network that all of these smart city projects require - by investing in more efficient lighting - so that each project does not have to justify its own infrastructure investment (explained in an earlier post).
In the Press
We were also pleased to see our launch picked up by a few Smart City/Air quality sites as well as the regional press and a couple of examples are here:
If you are looking at Smart City Technology and are trying to get to grips with what it might mean for your organisation then why not try it out? Click the image below to find out more.