Cimcon lighting and smart city technology further’s Suffolk’s Live Labs project

Suffolk County Council is set to install Cimcon’s NearSky smart city platform and smart lighting controls to transform the county’s public services, generate income, reduce roadway congestion and increase public safety, and security.

The county is deploying 700 CIMCON intelligent sensors utilising both CIMCON’s LightingGale Central Management System (CMS) and NearSky 360 smart city platform on the edge for the following applications: COVID-19 crowd density detection for social distancing monitoring, air quality monitoring and prediction, fly-tipping detection and alerts, road temperature measurement, smart parking and traffic management.

The project is funded by a the Department for Transport (DfT) funded Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) SMART Places Live Labs programme that is focused on driving innovation on local highways through the use of new techniques and technologies.

The County Council selected NearSky for its ability to easily process data coming from the streetlight pole. The NearSky platform will enable Suffolk to easily introduce new applications as it provides the opportunity to easily access power from the streetlight pole, and eliminate the need for permitting by removing the need to drill into the pole to access power. The County Council has engaged the University of Suffolk and the British Standards Institute (BSi) to analyse the data coming from the NearSky applications.

CIMCON’s NearSky applications will enable the Council to evaluate numerous use cases to improve quality of life for Suffolk’s residents whilst demonstrating a revenue stream for the Council.

The COVID-19 crowd density application will enable better enforcement of COVID-19 social distancing rules by using cameras to provide officials with insight into when and where people are congregating.

The road temperature measurement application with non-invasive sensors will provide local, accurate insight of surface temperature, advising the Council when gritting lorries need to be deployed to safeguard drivers.

CIMCON’s LiveParking application will provide officials with real-time data for both on-street and off-street parking spaces. The data collected will enable Suffolk to reduce traffic by systematising parking, improve revenue streams, reduce emissions and improve air quality by helping drivers locate available parking spaces more easily. Other applications including digital Blue Badge will also be trialed.

The air quality sensors will provide officials with real-time, continuous measurements of key air pollutants, allowing them to make informed decisions about outdoor activities, alert residents during periods of dangerous air quality, and monitor pollution sources such as industrial facilities.

The traffic analysis application will enable the County to collect individual time stamped vehicle counts and speeds on roadways up to two or four lanes, simultaneously, allowing the County to track and make improvements to road and traffic conditions.

CIMCON’s smart streetlight controls will be used to test and validate the energy and maintenance savings possible under a full-scale, countywide deployment while the fly-tipping solution will detect left objects and alert the Council.

“Our goal in this project is to collect real-time data to evaluate new technologies and their ability to transform and improve our entire roadway network,” said Richard Webster, Street Lighting Manager at Suffolk County Council & Suffolk Highways. 

“Suffolk County Council’s leadership team has a clear understanding of how new smart city technologies can transform and improve cities,” said Anil Agrawal, CIMCON’s CEO. “We appreciate the opportunity to enable their path forward with our NearSky platform and smart streetlight controls.”

Giles Perkins, Programme Director for ADEPT Live Labs said: “It’s exciting to see the international reach of the Live Labs extending and we hope that not only the users of Suffolk’s highways benefit from this technology, but also by sharing the learnings and insights from our programme we might help highway authorities in the USA and beyond innovative quickly, delivering real benefits.”

Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said: “Our Live Labs project in Suffolk is going from strength to strength and I’m delighted that we are working with the leading global provider of smart city technologies. The placement of these intelligent sensors and the data we are receiving from them will help make council services run smoother and more efficiently now and in future. The Live Labs project and its funding in Suffolk has given us the opportunity to test innovative and pioneering technology in a live environment, meaning the data we receive can be put to good use, providing real and tangible benefits.”

Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.


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