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UK council deploys smart sensors to monitor travel and transport movements

The sensors will help the London borough of Richmond understand whether residents have permanently shifted habits since the pandemic as well as how they move around their local areas.

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The sensors are designed to provide accurate data on road and pavement usage
The sensors are designed to provide accurate data on road and pavement usage

Richmond Council in the UK is deploying sensors to provide insights into travel and pedestrian movements to better inform planning as lockdown restrictions ease.

 

The project will help the council understand whether residents have permanently shifted habits since the pandemic as well as how they move around their local areas.

 

Anonymous data

 

The London borough is working with transport artificial intelligence (AI) company Vivacity Labs to anonymously monitor a number of areas including use of cycle infrastructure, pedestrian use of town centres and use of motor vehicles.

 

The digital sensors are being installed as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project. It is funded by the Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) as part of the London Councils Business Rates Retention scheme which is administered by the City of London Corporation.

 

The project uses IoT to address challenges in communities and identify opportunities to help people live better, healthier lives and live independently for longer.

 

The sensors are designed to provide accurate data on road and pavement usage. They do not collect personal data, and the technology cannot be used to gather any kind of personal data or for enforcement purposes.

“These sensors will give us a granular picture of how traffic levels and transport and pedestrian movements change through the course of a day, week or month”

“Recovery from the pandemic gives us the opportunity to step back and look at how we will use our public spaces going forward,” said councillor Alexander Ehmann, chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee.

 

“Early in the pandemic we quickly made urgent temporary changes to road and pavement space in order to accommodate for active travel and help people to keep their distance. These measures have greatly improved the public realm, but as we move into the recovery period we anticipate that people’s transport habits and the way they use public space will continue to adapt.

 

“These sensors will give us a granular picture of how traffic levels and transport and pedestrian movements change through the course of a day, week or month.

 

“Data insights provide the ability to both analyse where to implement changes and evaluate the effectiveness of any schemes that are put in place. The intelligence gathered by these sensors can and will inform any plans that both the council and communities have to make our public spaces more accessible, safe and healthy for all users.”

 

The South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe aims to deliver a multi-purpose IoT platform across the five south London councils of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton and will connect various sensors across the borough boundaries.

 

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