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Cambridgeshire to develop digital twin

06/02/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership is to be the first public body to deploy elements of the Urban Data Project and has indicated the intent to create a digital twin of its area.

Urban Data logo on Cambridge cityscape

The project, developed by smart city applications company Telensa, is aimed at improving the use data collected from sensors and other sources around a geographic area. It has been built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to create a trust infrastructure for the relevant data.

The Cambridgeshire Partnership, which consists of local authorities, businesses and academic institutions in the county and is delivering the local city deal, plans to deploy the solution next month.

It will involve the two key technology elements of the Urban Data Project. One is the collection of Telensa multi-sensor pods installed on streetlight poles and running on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge. They include video and radar feeds and have real time AI and machine learning capabilities.

The other is the City Data Guardian Trust Platform, also built on Azure, that can combine data from the pods and other sources in line with privacy policies and regulations, while making the data available for service delivery and revenue raising.

Claire Ruskin, executive board member for the Greater Cambridge Partnership, said the deployment will help to build a digital twin, a digital replica of physical assets taking in all of the data points that can be used for monitoring, diagnostics, prognostics and intelligent maintenance.

Smart pioneer

“Cambridge has pioneered a number of smart technologies, collaborating between the city’s world class academic and commercial R&D organisations and the local authorities,” she said.

“The Greater Cambridge Partnership has funded Smart Cambridge to see how data supports activities that help to make Greater Cambridge even better to live and work in. The Urban Data Project is part of this innovative approach, helping to create a comprehensive digital twin and providing the tools to use the data responsibly with policies that are transparent to our residents.”

While the concept of a digital twin is still developing, a number of authorities are taking steps to apply it to their data capabilities. The most high profile project is being run by the National Infrastructure Commission, and last month IT industry association techUK staged a discussion on the development of the model.

Telensa said the Urban Data Project has been developed in response to two issues: the cost of single-purpose sensors and moving the data to the cloud; and how to apply best practice policies to its use.

Image from Telensa

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