IoT solution providers were invited to compete for the chance to work with Glasgow and London to deploy breakthrough solutions to address specific challenges.
Solutions that address noise pollution and mitigate traffic, and which help to pinpoint the location of a person in need of rescue in the water, have won the inaugural Itron Smart City Challenge.
Instrumentation Technologies (I-Tech) and Noesis Network were selected as winners of the challenge, which invited Internet of Things (IoT) providers to compete for the chance to work with Glasgow and London to deploy “breakthrough solutions” to address specific challenges defined by the cities.
The challenge demonstrates how Itron is enabling cities and technology innovators to work together to solve problems and improve citizen wellbeing. Using its standards-based developer tools, the winning companies created integrated IoT solutions that use Itron’s IoT networks in the two cities.
I-Tech and Noesis will continue to collaborate with the cities to progress their solution and bring them to market, supported by Itron.
“The inaugural Itron Smart City Challenge shows how we are applying technology for a purpose,” said Itai Dadon, director of smart cities and IoT at Itron
“While these solutions were purpose-built to address specific needs defined by the sponsoring cities, river safety and noise pollution are common concerns for cities worldwide. We invite cities from around the world to collaborate with Itron to launch the next set of open innovation challenges"
As one of the world’s top sporting cities and a major destination for conferences and concerts, Glasgow frequently attracts large crowds of visitors. This increased population can create significant challenges, for visitors and residents alike regarding public transit, traffic, noise and safety.
For the challenge, Glasgow asked for solutions to help improve the experience of residents during highly-populated events while elevating the city’s profile as a cultural destination for tourists.
The winning solution from Noesis features cost-effective acoustic sensors to address noise pollution and mitigate traffic. Noesis proposes deploying sensors on lampposts in areas with anticipated noise pollution from events and related traffic to identify, localise and quantify noise.
“Since Glasgow is a major destination for conferences and concerts, we want to reduce noise pollution and traffic to ensure an optimal travel experience for visitors”
The distributed network of noise sensors gathers highly reliable and accurate data, including noise source, location, sound profile and power level. With this data, Glasgow can have unprecedented visibility to acoustic data around event venues to reduce noise pollution. The acoustic sensors can be upgraded over-the-air to support future use cases such as traffic management and public safety.
“Since Glasgow is a major destination for conferences and concerts, we want to reduce noise pollution and traffic to ensure an optimal travel experience for visitors,” said Duncan Booker, chief resilience officer, City of Glasgow. “Through our participation in the Itron Smart City Challenge, we found a solution that will easily connect to our existing network and address our concerns.”
Kees Den Hollander, chief commercial officer, Noesis Network BV, said: “For this challenge, we designed a solution that will utilise wireless networks to create real-time, highly granular sound maps with our acoustic sensors. It is an honour to have our solution selected by Glasgow.”
Finalists for the Glasgow Challenge included:
Due to the life-threatening nature of people entering the River Thames, the city of London sought solutions to improve river safety and address public health priorities. The city wanted solutions to protect citizens by identifying entries into the river, ensuring the availability of safety equipment when it is needed, and accelerating emergency response times. London challenge winner I-Tech designed a two-step solution to allow London to monitor lifebelts and pinpoint the location of a person in need of rescue support.
The first step of the solution suggests the deployment of small, battery-powered devices that will monitor the lifebelts. To prevent misuse, the device will sound a high-pitched alarm if a lifebelt is removed. If the lifebelt is not placed back in its housing unit for eight seconds, an emergency message will be sent via the Itron IoT network to notify emergency services.
“With I-Tech’s solution, we will be able shorten response times in dangerous situations to improve safety for our citizens”
The second part of the solution is a jumper detection system that uses an optical scanner to identify when people fall from the bridge and to track their precise location to assist first responders in search and rescue. I-Tech carefully designed the solution to operate effectively even in thick fog and uses advanced data processing to ensure the lasers are detecting people instead of other objects such as birds or falling objects.
“With I-Tech’s solution, we will be able to shorten response times in dangerous situations to improve safety for our citizens,” said Giles Radford, highways manager, Department of the Built Environment at the City of London Corporation. “We look forward to implementing this solution, which could be replicated in cities around the world."
Uros Dragonja, solutions architect at Instrumentation Technologies, said the challenge provided the opportunity to develop a customised solution that enhances Itron’s IoT networks: “Utilising Itron’s developer tools, we developed a solution that will enhance safety for London’s citizens. We are pleased that London selected our solution, which we believe represents the future of emergency response services.”
Finalists for the London Challenge included:
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