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Scotland looks to air sensors and smart transport


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Scottish Government has identified air quality and smart transport as two of the priorities for smart places developments as part of its programme of work over the next two years.

It has highlighted its intentions to support work in the two areas with the programme document, Delivering for Today, Investing for Tomorrow, along with investment in a new internet of things (IoT) network and superfast broadband.

The document highlights the Scottish Government’s ambitions for a sharp cut in vehicle emissions over the next few years, and says it will involve the introduction of “Europe’s most comprehensive network of cutting edge remote sensing air quality monitors on local and trunk roads”.

These should provide accurate data on exhaust emissions “based on real life rather than relying on manufacturers’ information”, with the first scheduled to be deployed in August of next year.

It will be accompanied by an investment of up to £2 million in testing ‘mobility as a service’ in Scotland. This will focus on making public and shared transport as attractive as owning a car, and include the development of information, ticketing and payment functions to work through mobile devices.

“We want to facilitate growth and innovation in this area, building on the strengths and skills already in Scotland,” the document says, adding that the relevant funding will become available next year.

Broadband and LoRaWAN

The Scottish Government has already taken steps to strengthen the infrastructure underlying the use of IoT technology. It is making a £600 million investment to provide superfast broadband of 30Mbps for all homes and businesses in the country by the end of 2021, and last month it announced the development of a national LoRAWAN network for developing IoT applications.

It is also working with innovation centres such as The Data Lab and the Centre for Sensors and Imaging Systems (CENSIS) to encourage progress in the IoT space.

The document also expresses an ambition to develop a digital planning service aimed at involving more people in the process. The requirements for this are scheduled to be set out in November.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said one of the key features of the programme is a focus on supporting the national economy and encouraging innovation.

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