RTA confirms success of smart LED lighting technology experiment

[From Emirates 24/7 article April 18]

RTAThe Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to expand the Smart LED Lighting Technology Project after proving successful on the bridges of the Dubai Water Canal, Sheikh Zayed Road as well as Al Barsha South 1 & 2 residential area. Measurement of the implementation impact reveals that the technology has made up to 50% saving in power consumption.

Engineer Maitha bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, said, “We took the initiative to expand the use of this technology as it enables central control of remote lighting units in real-time through a smart app tailor-made for the Control Room. This app is fed by a database of feedbacks received from lighting units, which assists in monitoring the operational condition of lighting as well as the sharing of information & operational commands with these units. Another feature of the system is the automatic reporting of crashes, which cuts the response time to emergency maintenance, and enhances the operational efficiency. Smart, high-definition cameras have been installed to provide statistical data for monitoring the density of pedestrian movement in the locality.”

“The smart lighting technology enables the RTA to control the lighting levels through preset fade-out programmes at certain times that generates additional savings due to the reduced rates of power consumption and maintenance costs. LED lighting is one of the best environment-friendly technologies in curbing carbon emission. It produces high-level and symmetric lighting throughout the road.”

“RTA is planning to study & develop technical specifications of the smart lighting systems to bring it at par with the world’s top practices. The study covers all aspects of the system starting from on-site equipment & devices and up to the control room. It involves suggesting & designing other feasible smart technologies, which can be integrated into the system. The study will also cover latest technologies of clean & renewable energy that can be added to the smart lighting system in support of the Green Economy strategy,” she said.

“Through a specialist consultant guided by a clear methodology, RTA is currently developing a master plan for smart lighting in Dubai aligned with the best global practices & specifications. The plan should enable the implementation of RTA’s indicators for the Smart City to identify the proposed smart features and functions. It also maps out services and resources required in future towards the implementation of RTA’s vision of Safe & Smooth Transport for All,” concluded the CEO of RTA’s Traffic & Roads Agency.

Harrisburg is doing smart city applications differently – by starting with smart connected streetlights

The newsfeeds are full of smart city pilots and demonstrators, with sensors everywhere. Dig a little deeper and most turn out to be very limited in scale, with no clear path for extending their benefits to the whole city and no idea who exactly is going to pay for them in the long term.  Without a path to improving the lives of all citizens, coupled with sustainable financial benefits for tax payers, most of these pilots will never mature.

That’s where Harrisburg, capital city of Pennsylvania, is doing smart city applications differently – by starting with smart connected streetlights.

Last year Harrisburg deployed Telensa’s PLANet smart street lighting controls as part of its conversion to LED technology.  This system pays for itself in maintenance and energy savings, and provides Harrisburg with a free wireless network that can be harnessed and monetized for the benefit of the city.

City Engineer Wayne Martin was one of the first to recognise the value of using the street lighting network for adding new applications, and is working with Telensa to define the scope of initial deployments.

One example is the monitoring of trash cans to make garbage truck pickup routes more efficient. Another is more granular monitoring of road temperature to make predictive models more accurate and save money on salt spreading.

The city can purchase external sensors to plug into the network, which will allow city officials to monitor any number of items around it, including traffic flow, air quality, and river levels.

“It would save money on salt. We could save 20 tons of salt every year and that adds up to real dollars,” said Martin. “The possibilities are endless.”

So Harrisburg now has a free network with 100% city coverage, able to connect abundant sensors, and to build and monetize its own “big data” platform. The network will not transport video, but many will think that this is an advantage in terms of privacy. For example, in traffic analysis, raw video is processed locally by the sensor and only the data, such as the number of trucks, is transmitted.

“We’re not going to monitor stuff just to monitor it,” said Martin. “It has to make sense for the city.”

The world is starting to notice. In March, Martin was one of three American engineers to speak at a conference in Australia, where Harrisburg is seen as a “lighthouse” smart city deployment.

Telensa PLANet technology connects and controls more than a million streetlights across the world.

[includes content from this Fox43 article]