A few months ago, we carried out an extensive analysis of the opportunities and criticalities of the PNRR with regard to the WASTE MANAGEMENT sector: a sector with a turnover of EUR 14 billion per year (0.8% of GDP) and 95,000 employees, which is fundamental to any Smart City project.
"More than a problem of resources, in fact, in Italy we have a problem of procedures," stressed our CEO Niccolò De Carlo, adding that "from the awarding of the works to their completion it takes an average of six years, and if we also include the planning and decision-making phases, the overall duration is even longer. This is far too long an implementation time, for which we are still waiting for an adequate regulatory response".
In the meantime, Sensoworks has developed its own innovative solution for waste management, which combines the features of its proprietary platform, specially calibrated and redesigned ad hoc, with a multi-sensor to be inserted in the rubbish containers and collection vehicles that, by means of weight, pH, gas and other sensors, including an accelerometer, is able to measure and communicate in real time the percentage of filling, the weight collected, the temperature, the change in inclination, the possible outbreak of a fire, an impact due to a hypothetical collision.
Let's find out more about Sensowork's Waste Management proposal: what issues it addresses, how it solves them and the revolutionary benefits it brings to the waste management system.
Waste management comes up against at least five types of problems on a daily basis:
Currently there are in principle four types of solutions:
But these types of solutions often do not bring concrete benefits. This is where Sensoworks comes in.
The multi-sensor solution, currently in the final prototyping phase, primarily implements the concept of 'gamification' in waste disposal, concretely stimulating public awareness. It then offers a series of hyper-technological solutions to the manager:
A revolution in all respects, followed by a series of concrete benefits:
Sensoworks' Waste Management solution will soon be operational in partnership with one of Italy's leading multi-utility companies active in the management and development of water, energy and environmental networks and services. Stay tuned to our social channels to keep up to date!
Why is it important for the cities of the future to integrate objects, technologies, and resources? Why should the cities of the future pursue a smart development model that is sustainable, efficient, and innovative (for more information on the smart city paradigm, read this article)?
By 2050, according to the United Nations report, 70% of the global population will live in cities. The latter must be able to accommodate such urban growth, ensuring a high quality of life for citizens and pursuing objectives of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
It follows the need to encourage the design of smart cities, which will allow:
How? And what are the parameters that allow us to monitor the evolution of a city's smartness?
The consulting company EY has proposed a model for reading smart cities that is articulated and developed on four interconnected levels, namely:
The first layer represents the foundations on which all the services and activities of a smart city are based, i.e. networks (such as wi-fi, broadband, and 5G), infrastructures and technological equipment.
The second refers to sensor networks and IoT devices essential for the collection and analysis of the infinite amount of data generated and shared, concerning:
This level is the most interesting for the world of IP systems and the role that the latter can play within this evolution.
It is the one relating to the delivery platforms of these services. Platforms that - operating as real operational centers - process and enhance the data generated by the other layers to support the public administration in defining strategies, aimed at improving existing services and/or creating new ones.
Finally, the fourth concerns the set of value-added strategies and services offered and delivered to citizens through the application of digital devices (web, mobile, app, viewers).
These four levels together generate the integrated system for the construction of a smart city. The challenge, today, for those who have to design and - at the same time - govern these new paradigms of cities, is precisely to make these levels interconnected, while working on a single basic infrastructure and a single delivery platform for all services.
Sensoworks has developed an IoT platform that allows you to integrate the first level of infrastructures with the second level of IoT sensors and devices to collect and process the detected data, through the automated and continuous monitoring of operational processes.
The platform can be divided into two areas:
But what are the expected basic functionalities and functional advantages offered by this platform?
Contact Eleonora, our Head of Sales, to download and consult the brochure “Smart City: strategies and services for the city of the future” and to learn more about how to start with your own smart city services.
The role of big data and IoT in resource optimisation, waste management, predictive analytics and consumer satisfaction.
In the previous article, we looked at the four assets that need to be benchmarked and acted upon to ensure a future where there is sufficient water supply for the world's population and, after identifying water loss from systems as the priority problem, we introduced the Sensoworks solution.
It is now time to give a brief overview of the role of technology in improving the efficiency of the water supply chain, and then to discover how Sensoworks is changing and optimising the way infrastructure is managed.
As discussed in the previous article, obsolete infrastructure and inefficient water systems require massive investment in technology to improve service.
The Valore Acqua Community has identified four pillars for the efficiency of the water sector:
The first three points, which are essential, are macro-choices at industrial level on which any wise administration must converge in the very short term, without ifs or buts. The fourth point, with the same urgency factor, is one in which the Sensoworks solution finds ample practical scope for intervention, let's see how.
The management of water networks scattered throughout the territory is complex. Many of the components of the networks' physical system are not easily accessible, such as pressure or flow sensors. The convergence of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operation Technology) is therefore vital.
But convergence between IT and OT alone is not enough, which is why enabling technologies such as mobility, connectivity and IoT come into play.
Hydraulic modelling solutions and their digitisation, for example, enable accurate simulation of performance at key points in the network. Virtual sensor techniques allow flows and pressures to be calculated where real sensors cannot be inserted.
In order to make water networks resilient, efficient and sustainable, it is essential that management, monitoring and control are also automated remotely.
The aim is to respond in real time to water demands and to ensure the safety of the systems and the water itself, moving to a service based on predictive rather than reactive systems: to make things efficient you need data, to manage it, analyse it and return it in a comprehensible way you need software and digital services.
Water leaks from pressurised water pipes are very sensitive: as well as causing economic damage through wasted water, they risk causing far more serious and dangerous consequences, including seepage, landslides, flooding or ground subsidence.
Operators and multi-utilities have therefore decided to focus on predictive maintenance. The aim is to identify the points on the infrastructure where network failure is most likely: in this way it is possible to intervene with the replacement of the pipeline at risk before the damage occurs, also thanks to the use of artificial intelligence algorithms.
But what does Sensoworks actually do in its application to water infrastructure?
Identifies network sections most likely to break. Analyses the water piping with priority management of the most critical assets, resulting in reduced water losses and increased management efficiency.
Develops a network model with AI algorithms, fed by real time data from the field, to optimise network pressure and to reduce losses and energy consumption for pumping.
Prioritise maintenance operations and plan operators and routes according to the associated risk using geo-routing algorithms.
Creates smart alarms and integrates smart meters to increase efficiency and timeliness of intervention, being able to intervene in advance of a potential fault or meter drift.
Sensoworks intervenes through revamping and digitisation of assets for the adoption of European regulations, such as the Water Safety Plan and new provisions coming from ARERA (e.g. decree n.76 July 2020).
Sensoworks therefore provides the most advanced technologies to monitor, predict and control complex data from multiple sources in real time, even in water!
Ça va sans dire: there is no civilisation since the beginning of time that has not chased after fresh water and tried to control, manage and purify it as a primary commodity necessary for life.
All the great cities were founded on the banks of great rivers or diverted their course to their own advantage with dams and technical infrastructures, often of fine workmanship, given the importance that the commodity had and still has today.
Dams, aqueducts, reservoirs, purifiers: the higher the quality of these infrastructures, the better the quality of the water available and, consequently, the lives of citizens. Centuries ago, the availability of a resource such as water, which was considered "infinite" and always available, was not an issue. Today, however, we are at a turning point, and man's next actions with regard to the commodity of commodities will be fundamental for future supply.
Fresh water is, in fact, an extremely valuable commodity, if we take on board the economic assumption that the value of a commodity is determined by its scarcity, and today this is becoming increasingly scarce.
More than two billion people currently live in water-stressed areas and some 3.4 billion people - 45% of the world's population - lack access to safely managed sanitation. Not only that, the global water deficit will reach 40% by 2030.
How can we intervene? There are four assets that need to be benchmarked and acted upon to ensure a future of sufficient water supply for the world's population:
Global freshwater use has increased six-fold in the last 100 years and continues to grow at a rate of about 1% per year since the 1980s (AQUASTAT, s.d.), mainly in most emerging economies, as well as in low- and middle-income countries (Ritchie and Roser, 2018). What are the main factors influencing the current growth in water demand?
Added to this is agriculture, which includes activities such as irrigation, livestock water abstraction and aquaculture, responsible for 69% of global water withdrawals. This ratio can reach 95% in some developing countries (FAO, 2011a). Industry (including electricity and energy generation), on the other hand, is responsible for 19%, while municipalities are responsible for the remaining 12%.
However, most authors agree that water use for agriculture will face increasing competition in terms of demand from industry and energy sectors, but also from municipal and domestic uses, mainly as a function of industrial development and improved coverage of water and sanitation services in developing countries and emerging economies (OECD, 2012; Burek et al., 2016; IEA, 2016).
Water stress affects many parts of the world and is defined as a temporary or prolonged condition of lack of water, usually lacking at ground level. It is often a seasonal or annual phenomenon and it is estimated that around four billion people live in areas experiencing severe physical water scarcity for at least one month per year (Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016).
According to the World Resources Institute (WRI) report, which measured water demand and availability in 167 states, the water emergency will be one of the most serious problems affecting our planet, not only in poor areas but also in more developed countries.
By 2040 as many as 33 countries will have to deal with "extreme" water stress: about 14 of these are in the Middle East alone, with serious risks of political instability, but the scarcity of water resources, the researchers point out, will also be felt in other parts of the world, including some Italian and Balkan areas.
Due to a lack of monitoring and reporting capacity, especially in many of the least developed countries, data on global water quality remain scarce.
However, water quality has deteriorated due to pollution in almost all major rivers in Africa, Latin America and Asia and, globally, it is estimated that 80% of all industrial and urban wastewater is released into the environment without any prior treatment, with harmful effects on human health and ecosystems. As is already known, less developed countries correspond to a higher percentage ratio and severely deficient wastewater treatment facilities (WWAP, 2017). Poor management of agricultural runoff is also considered to be one of the most widespread water quality-related issues globally (OECD, 2017a).
The quality of water for society is determined by the quality and 'health' of the water infrastructure used to capture, store or transport it. To confirm the opening of this article, socio-economic development is in fact rather limited in those countries that do not have sufficient infrastructure to manage water.
There is also a large segment of the population (about 1.6 billion people) that has physical availability of water but faces "economic" water scarcity: the water is there but the infrastructure to access it is lacking (Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, 2007). It is therefore estimated that by 2030, investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure will need to be around USD 900-1.5 trillion per year, about 20% of the total requirement for all types of infrastructure investment (OECD, 2017b). About 70 per cent of total infrastructure investment will be in the global South, with a large share in increasingly developing urban areas (GCEC, 2016). In developed countries, large investments will be needed for renovation and upgrading.
The solution lies in the transition to a model of a circulatory economy in the use of water resources. The solution lies in the transition to a carbon-neutral model of water use and the implementation of sustainable and predictive technology solutions for monitoring system leakage, the Achilles heel of water infrastructure.
Sensoworks provides a dedicated solution for water leaks from so-called primary pipelines, i.e. those public pipelines that bring water to neighbourhoods and deliver it to homes.
The platform identifies the leak by means of a series of sensors located on the outside of the pipes (the non-watertight part), which pick up vibrations and sounds and are able to identify the different statuses of the pipe, signalling anomalies and allowing immediate intervention. It also collects real time data which, aggregated and processed, provides a predictive data set that is fundamental for planning the right maintenance and avoiding costly last minute interventions that do not resolve problems in the long term.
We will talk about this in the next article on the Sensoworks blog. In the meantime, if you want a complete overview of the concept of WATER INFRASTRUCTURE 4.0 you can download our Whitepaper by clicking here!
What will the cities of the future be like? What do we mean when we hear about smart cities?
Often the expression smart city - a consequence of the digital transformation and the use of IoT technology in the different spheres of the Public Administration - is associated with the technological dimension present in cities alone.
The architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, on the other hand, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab and one of the world's leading pioneers in the urban field, uses the term sense-able innovation to express the idea of sensitivity and perception and describe this new urban model of cities: cities that are sensitive and capable of feeling. Cities where complex large-scale infrastructures - such as energy consumption, waste, mobility, healthcare, education - become endless in data. Cities that, thanks to the digitization of work processes and the organization of these shared data, aim to improve the quality of life of those who live them.
In this regard, we cannot fail to mention the Roboat project for self-driving boats in Amsterdam or remember the pioneering Trash Track project that moves into the past from the same Lab and designed to map the waste system in the United States, through the provision of digital labels for GPS position tracking.
"The most surprising thing - said Ratti - was that the results obtained, in addition to being useful for better waste management, also promoted a change in the behavior of the participants".
Not surprisingly, as had already been indicated in his previous book Smart City, Smart Citizen:
“An intelligent city is not made up of people who simply respond to inputs, but of citizens who play a fundamental role: that of protagonists in the process of collecting and sharing data. After all, connected citizens are the engine of urban change in the cities of the future ”.
In fact, it is precisely this infinite amount of data that we produce, starting from the most elementary operations we perform with our smartphone up to those made possible by artificial intelligence and the IoT (on the IoT and the challenges to be faced read here - link to internal article), to guarantee the cities of the future that ability to feel, and at the same time, to allow those who design and govern them to think about new development paradigms.
“The cities of today have been made men of yesterday. We have the right to think about those of tomorrow, without complexes, as long as the goal is this: tomorrow. Making cities today for today means making them old. Technologies will have to pervade everything and then disappear from our eyes. " - says Ratti.
Exploiting the maximum potential from technologies
But how is this possible? How to relate objects, infrastructures and citizens? How to integrate all shared data and exploit the potential of new technologies and digital applications that make our cities smart and sensitive?
This is what Sensoworks pursues with its IoT platform as a solution to support the smart city paradigm. The goal is to automate the collection of these critical data for urban management and process them to allow the public administration to define strategies and services to improve:
To learn more about the Sensoworks smart city solution and if you want to proceed with other Sales information, schedule a meeting with our Head of Sales, Eleonora Stragliotto (book a meeting on her calendar).
Maybe not everyone knows that the Thames was declared biologically dead in 1957. Indeed, London’s famous river has worked as an open sewer for centuries, leading to many an epidemic of cholera until the government decided to do something about it in the mid-800’s - particularly after what is known as the Great Stink.
It wasn’t until the '60s that construction projects for the recovery of a bombed and destroyed London amended and improved the previous sewage system, sanitizing the waters and bringing the river back to life. In more recent days one could even enjoy the company of harbor seals up in Richmond Lock.
More recently, however, in 2018 the growing population of the British capital posed a new threat to the existing draining systems. The authorities found it hard to keep up with the daily management of gray water.
If we learned something from the Thames’s history, then we should know by now that the management of sewers and waters is of the utmost importance for the wellbeing of the cities population.
Monitoring and management of pieces of critical infrastructure such as sewers are usually carried out on a case-by-case basis or with sporadic, periodic maintenance activities. However, this has two main issues: they ignore whatever phenomenon happened in the interval between two maintenance operations and only repair whatever damage occurred beforehand, ignoring predictive maintenance for damages that might occur later.
Moreover, periodic mass interventions have a certain weight on the annual budget, both for the individual companies and the taxpayers - companies dealing with urban waters and sewers are usually public and funded by the government.
In the second place, urbanization and overuse of infrastructure become critical in this specific sector of civil infrastructure. Poor management of the sewage system can have disastrous effects on both the population’s health and the environment, leading to damages that can only be healed in years.
This means that companies are faced with no option but to allocate much of their budget on damage control activities rather than on improvement and best practices, slowing down the development and progress of technologies and methodologies to best manage the systems.
We can predict what happens in the future. Our platform centers around the chance to implement predictive maintenance civil infrastructure to avoid any potential problem before it occurs.
Through a distributed system of sensors specifically installed in strategic locations of the infrastructure, Sensoworks’s IoT platform gathers all the necessary, raw, yet incomprehensible data and translates them into intelligible, indexed information in specifically created dashboards. This allows both Sensoworks’s IoT platform and managers and supervisors to understand what was, is, and will be of the monitored piece of infrastructure and intervene timely if necessary.
In the case of sewer systems' tunnels and pipes, Sensoworks designed a solution based on sensors constituted by fiber optic cables up to 50 km long. For the monitoring of sewers, the sensors we employ exploit Brillouin light scattering along the optic fiber.
The change in the Brillouin frequency signals to the platform a change in the temperature and/or in the mechanic strain. Each cable is built to react to both the phenomena.
Sensoworks' projects work on “close loop” systems to reach better results in terms of spatial resolution. The difference between “close loops” and “open loops” depends on how light radiation is used: “transmitted” in the first case and “reflexed” in the second case.
Thanks to Sensoworks, sewers are constantly monitored (24h a day, 365 days a year) for more than 37 km of pipes. The platform is always looking for deformations, it constantly checks the water level, speed and flow rate and controls potential anomalies due to parasitic infiltrations.
This doesn’t only work for sewers. Sensoworks’s IoT platform is designed to be highly scalable and adaptable to several kinds of systems and infrastructures. Sensors following this strategy can be installed on gas and water pipes (for the former, Sensoworks employs a higher-frequency Distributed Acoustic System to better detect gas leaks) to monitor the heating system or water supply, for instance.
This way, managing authorities can carry out less, more precise interventions to contain both potential damages and maintenance costs - both operational costs and staff deployment. Moreover, the causes of damages for underground facilities can be difficult to understand and expensive interventions are needed to assess the reasons for faults and malfunctions. Sensoworks’s platform’s dashboard, instead, shows clear and indexed information with thresholds and limits you can set to notify you in case any value exceeds the safety limits. So you know in real-time what is happening and where.
Sensoworks’s mission is to provide solutions that support people in their everyday life. Infrastructure, today, is an integral part of it: our lives would be much more difficult without the infrastructural system of roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, and so on.
Urbanization and the evolution of our lifestyles need to be matched by a constant improvement of the technology and the systems we use, even more so when confronted with an increasing number of people enjoying and exploiting civil infrastructure.
Sensoworsks believes in the potential of technology at the service of people. Sensing the future is the way we want to give value back to the community, predicting what’s next is how we want to empower everyone with a stronger infrastructure for all their needs.
Contact us to have more information on the topic and get your custom demo
This, according to the European Commission which took the lead in the tech transformation of the Union and its cities.
The adoption of information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) has consequences in various fields, categorized as follows by the University of Vienna:
This wide, although precise, classification helps us understand how diverse the goals of future cities will be.
New mobility, less impactful water and electricity supply, waste management efficiency, reactive and digital management, safety for citizens and those in need are just some of the goals.
Sensoworks already contributed to the debate and proposed multiple solutions to improve the life quality of our cities. Thus, the focus of this article will be Smart Mobility.
The main aim of Smart Mobility is to put forward innovative solutions for urban travel within the city. Indeed, decreasing traffic and allowing for flexible, safe, convenient, and green routes are the keys to improve the quality of life.
We can achieve these models by improving both the transport means and the infrastructure we already have.
Flexibility and efficiency are two of the main features of new mobility. For instance, travelers have to have the possibility to choose the best route each time according to their itinerary, to access the route easily, and to reach their destination in the shortest time possible.
Moreover, travelers must be ensured with a safe journey with reliable means and adequate infrastructure, such as bike lanes, charging stations, road signs, and ad-hoc paths designed for micromobility - also thanks to mobility companies, as in the case of Lime.
The plan is the green development of mobility.
Kick scooters, electric bikes and scooters are increasingly common in cities, together with car sharing, the pioneer service in the industry.
All these tools aim to reduce emissions and pollution both with a decrease in the use of fuel and in urban traffic.
Infographics by the Italian National Observatory of Sharing Mobility
Moreover, they cause other benefits, direct and indirect: the cost of sharing is definitely lower, both from an economic and a quality of life perspective. In the main European cities, indeed, citizens take 30-40% more time than what is actually needed to get to their destination. Estimates say that this extra time costs 1% of the EU GDP, that is 100 billion euros, annually.
To reduce traveling time means to reduce pollution and stress and to increase productivity with benefits at a local, national, and community level.
The growth of smart mobility doesn’t only apply to how citizens travel, but also to the management, integration, and safety of citizens, through the development and monitoring of the infrastructural grid connected to mobility.
In particular, the management of fleets of vehicles is a fundamental component to improve urban services.
Safer vehicles and a consatant monitoring of all their components guarantee better performance and increased efficiency. Just as the integration of different transport methods.
By improving essential urban centres, such as stations, parking lots, schools, and offices we can design a mobility focused on micro journeys.
Lastly, the adoption of new V2I methodologies (“vehicle to infrastructure”), instead, allows us a 360° vision of the city’s road grid.
This deals with the installation of sensors on the main road junctions to notify drivers about traffic or weather conditions, but also to help them understand whether they parked properly their vehicle or whether road lights in a certain section of the road are working or not.
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According to a classification made by the University of Vienna, there are 6 factors that distinguish a smart city:
Each factor contributes to the achievement of a smart city where the gap between needs and satisfaction is filled. The technology that helps us make a city smart is the IoT (Internet of Things), where everything ideally "comes to life" thanks to appropriately installed sensors and a stable widespread wireless communication in every corner of the city. All data generated by sensors converge to a central ”brain”, where they are further elaborated through sophisticated AI algorithms, so that the "smart things" act accordingly to the humans’ preferences and habits.
The things become intelligent, break down spatial distance and allow you to satisfy all your needs in the shortest time possible, without having to even leave your house.
Although urbanization is not a strictly contemporary phenomenon, these last decades saw an exponential increase in the urban population. Only 15 years ago, the rural population was still the majority of people on Earth - only in 2007 the urban population exceeded rural areas for the first time in all history!
This should be enough to understand the massive change demography and urbanization went through. But most importantly, it should be enough to realize the huge impact this massive shift in our living habits had on the environment and on the society we are all part of. If we also add the simplification of travel and movement around cities, for tourism or work-related visits, and the ease of purchase for cars and other means of transport, then we can picture the increased complexity of society today.
If pollution, overpopulation, poor mobility were true three decades ago, today we find these to be exponentially amplified by a larger number of people living in urban areas as much as they are exacerbated by years and years of inefficient policies and inactivity. However, it is also true that today we have easier access to advanced technologies and solutions.
Today’s technologies help us to harvest and process the many data we need to assess critical situations or to increase maintenance and conservation efficiency. IoT is an incredible solution in this sense: it allows us to not only have a constant eye on the places sensors are installed on, but also to harvest all the necessary data and to send them to a processing terminal and to translate them into understandable information.
Data transmission technologies have developed a lot in recent years and allow for a high level of connectivity in every corner of the city: just think of how we have evolved from 2G to 5G technologies in just under 30 years, with new 6G technologies currently under development. This technological evolution encouraged and allowed us to send and receive quantities of data unthinkable just until a few decades ago. Not only, at the same time new data recording and security techniques are available too, such as blockchain technology, which encrypts the data in unchangeable ledgers of data for future reference and use.
All of this led to wider involvement of technology and companies in the public life, bringing the private sector and the suppliers of new solutions closer to the public administrations. Today, it is more common to see contracts and partnerships between the public and the private sectors for the monitoring and supply of technologies for infrastructure and construction sites. This gives birth to a whole new way of conceiving the expansion and control of cities’ infrastructure and utilities.
Cities all around the world are already trying to take advantage of these new technologies with an array of new solutions, methodologies and devices such as sensors, controllers, communication devices, cameras, and so on. However, installing such devices is only the first step in the transformation to a smart city. The fundamental step is the implementation of a “brain”, a central terminal that allows the dialogue between devices and people.
An example of a solution by means of data monitoring is that of mobility and traffic congestion. Gathering and translating the necessary data can help us monitor traffic and parking circulation or support greater amounts of traveling vehicles without having to incur in the costs of widening urban roads or adding new roadways and parking lots.
Solutions that entail the use of sensors embedded into the floor to register whether a vehicle is parked in the space right above them or placed on the entrance and exit of a car park might give us an idea of how many parking spaces are available. While a combination of sensors such as license plate readers, in-vehicle sensors, CCTV cameras to check congestion, in-road embedded sensors to monitor the passage and the staying of cars, it gives us a good assessment of the ongoing traffic situation.
Although this is usually confined to only a specific, critical area, rather than the city on its whole, new V2I methodologies (“vehicle to infrastructure” as opposed to V2V, “vehicle to vehicle”), instead, can give a more holistic view of the city’s road system. For instance, V2I corridors installed on the road of smart cities can alert the driver of upcoming traffic or even weather conditions beforehand, suggesting that they might want to slow down or follow an alternative route so as not to get stuck in traffic later on the way.
However, although the new trends on micromobility and a larger adoption of alternative means of transportation, a poor infrastructural use of roads is still a major problem afflicting big cities and capitals around the world. Traffic jams take a heavy toll on our environment, besides posing a problem to noise pollution and having all of us commuters lose time stuck on the road or in front of outdated traffic lights. As much as it may sound weird: yes, the traffic light system we currently use in much of the world is proven to be outdated.
Moreover, parking and traffic are not only a major cause of jams and frustration, but it also affects an important source of revenue for the municipality. Parking, indeed, is usually the second or third largest source of income for towns and cities. A poor use of parking spaces or of infrastructure - such as the lack of multi floor parking compounds in city centers - can have terrible repercussions not only on the environment, but also on the city finance.
Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) and Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS), however, mainly rely on fixed point, eulerian measurements from loop and radar detectors. These can collect data relating to flow, speed and occupancy (as in the examples we’ve seen earlier) but cannot provide trajectory-based information such as direct trip observations or the time of travel on routes - that is lagrangian measurements. This means that we are missing important clues on the behavior of traffic to better understand how to improve our cities.
The data harvested from different systems employing lagrangian measurements, together with already existing tech solutions and measurements, would allow us to to have a more holistic view of how the city works and to further instruct drivers and passersby on the ongoing situation of traffic congestions and parking not only on given areas at a certain time, but also predicting the flow of cars, travel time, departure time of cars from parking spaces and so on.
Although we already saw many innovations taking place in cities such as Shanghai, Pittsburgh, London, New York, Milan, and so on, the space for innovation and for further progress is wide open and we should not stop researching further to simplify and improve our cities and lives.
Urban contexts are various and different, each with their needs and peculiarities. That is why Sensoworks developed a highly customizable platform that can be employed across different industries.
All our products are designed by specialized engineers. This is to ensure max efficiency when it comes to our features, architecture and UX to both private and public customers. Moreover, we work in close collaboration with HW manufacturers and integrators. The ecosystem we built - and are constantly improving - allows us to design our platform to be a real end-to-end solution, from the sensors our hardware partners produced to the integration of our services to the customer’s entire architecture.
Whether our customers are private companies or public institutions, we developed our platform to be as flexible as it gets to allow you to start up with low costs, to grow quickly and to integrate with new, future tools (and cut off outdated software).
We pay close attention to the use of data, which have to be constantly available and immediately turned into information. We do this thanks to our Edge component, which allows data to be analyzed in real time by peripheral devices. In case an event occurs, the platform takes the necessary decisions on the very same place, allowing for immediate answers with low latency.
The Edge computing component, moreover, allows for the recovery of data from different kinds of devices connected to the same edge gateway, which works as a hub for the whole connectivity system. This way, data is sent to the Cloud platform from one only gateway. The union of more devices together avoids individual one-to-one communication (sensor/terminal) and cuts down energy consumption, improving the overall performance of connectivity in smart cities.
Speaking of smart cities, our work is not aimed only at managing parking problems. We have a wider goal: to create a unique infrastructure to gather all the data related to the city’s life and activities and to integrate it with third-party software and applications as well, supporting the entire community.If you want to know more about how our platform works and discover the whole range of monitoring solutions we provide, write to us. Write a comment or come visit us on sensoworks.com.