Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council in England are partnering with technology firm Telensa to pilot new smart city services. The pilot will begin in March of this year and will initially run for two months.
The smart city solutions in the project include:
- Street drain monitoring: blocked street drains cause flooding, and monitors can alert and even predict problems before they cause a flood;
- Highway wind monitoring: instantly alerts highways administrators of high winds or gusts, and builds a data set that helps to predict dangerous local driving conditions;
- Traffic monitoring and analytics: from dimming unnecessary street lighting on empty roads to understanding local traffic patterns;
- Garbage can monitoring: enables cleaner streets through more responsive collections, and helps make sure there is enough capacity where it is needed; and,
- Air quality monitoring: provides street-by-street measurement of air quality.
Ralph Sangster, Executive Member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Smart technology is becoming an essential tool in delivering a high quality highways services and “Safe Smart” is an exciting opportunity to trial a modern technology which reinforces Hertfordshire County Council’s ongoing commitment to maintain and improve roads for the benefit of all Hertfordshire residents.”
Besides the operational benefits, it is expected that monitoring the infrastructure will build up a vast data set that can be used to spot trends across departments, leading to better decision making and more inter-departmental cooperation.
Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I am extremely excited about the benefits this trial offers by using technology to deliver more for less for our residents. We currently rely on inspections and residents reporting issues, like blocked gullies (drains), to us across more than 5,000 miles of roads in Essex. The potential to monitor issues remotely will not only save taxpayers money, it will also improve our reaction times and allow us to fix issues before they become a problem.”