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Essex and Hertfordshire Councils plan street sensor pilot



Counties to run project with Telensa to assess potential for different types of sensors on street lights

Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council have announced they are working on a smart place pilot around the use of sensors on street lighting.

The project, run in a partnership with Cambridge based technology firm Telensa, is aimed at assessing the potential quality-of-life and economic benefits of a range of smart city technologies.

The councils are currently assessing the suitability of three sites in various towns and plan to begin the two-month pilot later this month.

Among the factors to be monitored are the filling of waste bins, air quality, potential flooding of street drains, highway winds and traffic. All are directed at the potential for preventative action before serious problems develop and building up datasets for analytics.

Both councils were early adopters of Telensa’s wireless streetlight controls and low power wide area networks. They decided that by harnessing their lighting networks, they could introduce new monitoring services at a relatively low cost.

Saving on inspections

Councillor Ian Grundy, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We currently rely on inspections and residents reporting issues, like blocked gullies, to use across more than 5,000 miles of roads in Essex.

“The potential to monitor issues remotely will not only save taxpayers money, it will also improve our reaction times and allow us to fix issues before they become a problem.

“Last summer we became the first authority in the country to install smart streetlights which offer the potential to monitor pollution, create Wi-Fi hotspots and even guide driverless vehicles in the future. These are now being rolled out across Essex by Ringway Jacobs crews and we believe this work will really complement the smart city partnership work we are doing with Hertfordshire County Council and Telensa.”

Hertfordshire has already converted around 65,000 of its street lights to LED and are in the process of converting the remainder, some 50,000, by March 2020.

Image from Telensa

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