Two councils to pilot UK innovation in smart city services

Working alongside technology firm Telensa, Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council are to work together to pilot new smart city services.

Both councils were early adopters of Telensa’s wireless streetlight controls, which pay for themselves and save money every year, by reducing energy consumption and enabling a more efficient maintenance operation.

The smart city solutions in the project include: gully monitoring, highway wind monitoring, traffic monitoring and analytics, waste bin monitoring, and air quality monitoring: provides street-by-street measurement of air quality to complement the broad picture provided by existing monitoring stations.

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, 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.

“Last summer we became the first authority in the country to install ‘smart’ streetlights which offer the potential to monitor pollution, create Wi-Fi hotspots and even guide driverless vehicles in the future. These are now being rolled out across Essex by Ringway Jacobs crews and we believe this work will really complement the smart city partnership work we are doing with Hertfordshire County Council and Telensa.”

Ralph Sangster, executive member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, added: “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.

“We have already converted around 65,000 of our street slights to LED and are in the process of converting the remainder, some 50,000, by March 2020. These LED lights are controlled by a wireless Central Management System (CMS), which detects faulty lights and enables changes to be made to light settings with the flick of a switch at a central point. Therefore many faults will be resolved before anyone notices. LEDs not only use much less energy but also emit less CO2 than conventional lamps, helping to cut the county council’s carbon tax contribution.”

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