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Canadian uni smartens parking and waste

UBC is also leading research to demonstrate how LoRa technology can help make cities more resilient


Semtech's LoRa-enabled sensors remotely monitor fill levels of waste bins
Semtech's LoRa-enabled sensors remotely monitor fill levels of waste bins

The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, in partnership with Semtech Corporation and Eleven-x, has rolled out smart campus solutions for waste management and alleviating parking congestion.


Semtech is a provider of high-performance analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms while Eleven-x is a Canadian LoRaWAN network provider for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.


Across the UBC campus, sensors using Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology are installed in waste bins and embedded in the pavement to monitor real-time data to help improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. Both IoT solutions are connected to Eleven-x’s LoRaWAN-based network and provide real-time data to UBC administrators.


In the waste management system, alerts are triggered and pushed to UBC staff when a pre-determined waste level has been reached per bin, indicating waste removal is required. Levels are monitored in real-time through third-party cloud-enabled applications, optimising maintenance response.


UBC’s smart parking solution is designed to verify which parking spaces are used the most and, specifically, how many spaces are available for those with disabilities. The university plans to use the data collected by the parking sensors to evaluate expansion of parking areas for ease of access and increased efficiency.


“Improving waste and recycling services not only helps the school look more aesthetically pleasing, the LoRa-based solution also enables cost-saving measures in productivity and resource allocation,” said Brian Jones, director of UBC’s parking and access services.


“In streamlining the number of daily pick-ups, we manage our time more effectively, the facilities look better, and we cut costs. For parking, we’re really interested to see what we find in the next few months after analysing the data. With a parking operation as large as ours, we really need to see where we should expand as well as which areas are underutilised.”


In addition, UBC is also leading research to establish and evaluate both fixed and mobility use cases that demonstrate how LoRa Technology will play a key role in making cities more resilient in the face of disruptions from man-made and natural events.


The research will expand the LoRaWAN network across Canada as cities develop IoT services for their communities.


“The Eleven-x and UBC LoRa-based solutions are establishing the benchmark for smarter campuses across Canada, and all over the world,” added Vivek Mohan, director of the wireless and sensing products group at Semtech.


“The possibilities for LoRa Technology and LoRaWAN use cases are endless and can be deployed now, as we strive to create a smarter planet.”


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