HomeConnectivityTelensa ramps-up Urban Data Project with new tech partners, new smart cities

Telensa ramps-up Urban Data Project with new tech partners, new smart cities

UK smart street-lighting firm Telensa has appointed Belfast-based digital services provider Kainos as lead partner in the ramp-up and rollout of its Urban Data Project to additional smart cities.

The Urban Data Project initiative launched in Cambridge, in the UK, in February, and brings together Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Smart Cambridge besides. Telensa’s ‘multi-sensor pods’, installed as edge compute and analytics units on street lights as part of the project, will run on Qualcomm’s SDM845 processors, it said in February.

Kainos has been recruited to build and support the City Data Guardian trust platform, which forms the central part of the Urban Data Project. Data Guardian is billed as a “secure-by-design trust platform” that puts cities in control of their data. It enables chief data officers and smart-city teams to apply privacy policies, ensure regulatory compliance, and make data available to improve services.

The platform collects, stores, secures, manages and analyses data from Telensa’s multi-sensor pods, which gather and fuse sensor data from devices, including camera and radar imaging, to measure levels of traffic, footfall, pollution and noise. The platform applies stringent data governance and privacy controls.

The platform renders city data to provide a view of urban areas and how they are used. “This could, for example, cut the time and cost involved in traffic surveys by providing live feeds, giving local authorities realistic and accurate traffic data, making them more informed on real-time road network and traffic management issues,” said Telensa in a statement.

City Data Guardian is built on Microsoft Azure, using platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Kainos will provide ongoing support as it is rolled out to other cities.

Jon Lewis, vice president of urban data at Telensa, said: “Privacy and trust should be central to any smart city project and cities should retain full control of their data… It was imperative we partnered with a provider that understood this requirement, had expertise in building secure cloud-based data insight platforms and IoT solutions, and the digital capabilities to build a flexible platform to meet our need.”

Russell Sloan, divisional director at Kainos, said: “The platform enables cities to apply technology in a transparent and ethical way, so citizens can be confident about how their data is being collected and used. Once the Urban Data Project is rolled out to other cities around the world, the collective intelligence gathered will identify trends and patterns that could completely transform how we live.”

Russell Sloan, divisional director at Kainos, said: “The platform enables cities to apply technology in a transparent and ethical way, so citizens can be confident about how their data is being collected and used. Once the Urban Data Project is rolled out to other cities around the world, the collective intelligence gathered will identify trends and patterns that could completely transform how we live.”

Smart lighting delivers a 70-75 per cent reduction in energy costs, with 50 per cent achieved just by switching to LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, and a further 20-25 per cent eked out with lighting controls. Payback is pegged at around five years.

But upgrading to LED lighting does not bring intelligence; that comes from connecting and controlling the lighting network, which also streamlines its maintenance. Civic authorities can save around 80 per cent on maintenance costs through centralised tweaks and insights, reckons Telensa, which identifies seven ways cities can make their money back on smart street lighting.

Telensa claims some of the largest smart street lighting deployments in the world, including in Georgia state in the US, and the UK counties of Essex and Hertfordshire.

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