Tag Archives: traffic monitoring

Local councils missing out on more than £400 Million possible savings from M2M technologies

 

Local councils are missing potential savings of over £400 million and the opportunity to improve the services they offer to citizens by not capitalising on the benefits offered by Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies, Vodafone UK has found.

 

  • Smart street lighting and smart in-building energy management systems in local government buildings could provide savings of £402.3 million
  • New research by ComRes for Vodafone UK shows that 67 per cent of urban councillors are not aware of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies and how they can be used to deliver better, more cost efficient public services
  • 77 per cent of people living in urban areas say they would support their council’s decision to invest more in new technology to drive improved public services

To understand why local government is yet to reap the benefits of M2M for the efficient delivery of public services, Vodafone research, unveiled today, found that although the vast majority of urban councillors are positive about investment in technology, two thirds (67 per cent) are not familiar with M2M. This gap in understanding would explain why M2M is yet to be widely used to improve public services such as street lighting, refuse collection, urban traffic and transport management, whilst at the same time saving the tax payer millions.

Vodafone UK worked with research partner ComRes to poll 629 GB urban councillors and over 1,600 residents living in or on the fringes of the country’s urban areas to understand their views on the use of technology for public service delivery and to gauge which services are of concern to residents. The poll found that councillors agree that investing in technology is important in delivering better public services. This approach is also supported by the majority of urban residents.

The provisional local government finance settlement means that councils in England face cuts of almost £8 billion this year (1.8 per cent of 14/15 budget)1. By utilising M2M – also called the Internet of Things (IoT) – local councils could benefit from significant savings while improving key services. Smart street lighting and energy management systems in local government buildings, for example, could save over £400 million (£402.3 million), making up around 5 per cent of the cuts expected over the next year with just two M2M-based solutions.

Today’s research suggests those savings would be welcomed by citizens who overwhelmingly said (77 per cent) they would fully support their council’s decision to invest more in new technology to drive improved public services.

Matt Key, Director of M2M sales and commercial at Vodafone said, “While the importance of technology seems to be widely appreciated by local councillors and residents in urban areas, the lack of awareness of the massive benefits to be gained from M2M and the Internet of Things means that urban councils are missing out on opportunities to deliver better, smarter and more cost effective services in the areas which matter to their local communities.”

“Among the small amount of councillors who are familiar with M2M, almost all of them (83 per cent) feel the technology will be important in delivering better services and improved value to the community. If we can help more councillors understand the possible savings and the benefits, then we have a real opportunity to help local councils improve the services for their communities, as well as free up more budget to be reinvested in front line services.”

Citizens are in support of smart technologies

The poll of Britons living in or on the fringes of urban areas found them to be in strong support of using M2M technologies to improve public services and reduce running costs. The greatest savings could come from monitoring systems in local authority buildings to reduce energy consumption, a measure supported by 85 per cent of residents. When Vodafone implemented smart monitoring systems across 200 of its sites, the company made an average saving of 29 per cent in energy costs, per site. With UK local authorities spending around £750 million each year on energy costs2, they could save close to £190 million per year with an average saving of 25 per cent through the introduction of similar systems.

Further savings could be achieved by smart street lighting – 80 per cent of residents in urban areas said they are in favour of lighting which brightens when it senses people or vehicles are nearby to reduce energy consumption. If connected or smart street lights were rolled out to all 7.5 million street lights in the UK this could drive savings of £52.9 million on energy costs (based on a conservative 20 per cent reduction) and £161.9 million in maintenance, equating to total savings of almost £215million (£214.8 million).

M2M technology can improve the services that citizens are most dissatisfied with

According to the survey, residents of urban areas are less likely to be satisfied on issues concerning transportation and traffic, compared to other council services, such as refuse collection and street lighting.

Traffic management, for example, can readily benefit from M2M technologies. As the survey suggests, congestion in urban areas such as London, is a major frustration for its residents, as well as costing councils money. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the number of hours spent by drivers idling in traffic in London is expected to increase by nearly 20 per cent over the next fifteen years to 299 hours – equating to 40 working days a year by 20303.

In fact 88 per cent of adults living in urban areas said they support the introduction of smart traffic light systems which automatically respond to the flow of people and vehicles for more effective traffic management. Support for improvements to traffic light systems was higher than any other proposal tested in the polling.

Furthermore, fifty-seven per cent of residents said they would be in support of their local council investing in applications to help them find parking spaces. One City Council is already embarking on a project with Vodafone to help direct drivers to the council’s 10,000 parking bays4 – some of which remain vacant because people can’t find them. Drivers spend around 15 minutes looking for an available space, so the project will greatly reduce congestion.

“The benefits that are already being seen by the private sector, other markets and some local authorities are just too significant for urban councillors to ignore,” said Matt Key. “Those at the highest level in Government are starting to recognise the potential with IoT making its way into the Spring budget for the first time earlier this year. We recommend that urban councillors find out more about M2M technologies to see how they can improve the services that matter most to their residents while making budgets work harder. At Vodafone, we are committed to working with local councils to make best use of technology to create some of the smartest, most efficient cities in Europe.”

Source: Vodafone

 

Japan: In-Car driver monitoring used to detect traffic congestion

 

Toshio Ito, professor at the College of Systems Engineering and Science, Shibaura Institute of Technology, has developed a method to predict a traffic jam by observing the operations made by the driver.

Unlike the current method, which installs cameras, etc on roads, the new method realizes the prediction by using only existing in-vehicle sensors. Therefore, it can lower costs and does not depend on infrastructure. He has not yet decided when to commercialize the new technology.

A traffic jam occurs when a vehicle is decelerated by applying the brakes, etc on a busy road and following vehicles begin to decelerate after that. Based on this mechanism, Ito considered that it is possible to predict a traffic jam by detecting a state in which “the speeds of vehicles have not yet been reduced but the volume of traffic is increasing and a traffic jam seems to occur” by detecting changes in the driver’s behaviors.

As behaviors that the driver unconsciously changes, Ito cited “steering angle,” “how much the gas pedal is pressed down” and “vehicle speed.” All of those three factors can be detected by existing in-vehicle sensors.

Ito tried to detect the state that shows a sign of a traffic jam by analyzing those data. In an experiment using a driving simulator, he found a clear difference between the driver’s behaviors on a light-traffic road and those on a road where a traffic jam seems to occur, he said.

However, the changes of behaviors differed from driver to driver. A research group led by Ito invented a more accurate judging method. In the experiment, he found that the variance of the frequency components of data clearly differs depending on the state of a road.

Therefore, Ito optimized the system by using a machine learning technique called “neural network system” (NNS) to process the variance and classify data patterns. As a result, it became possible to detect differences in the state of a road based on the observation of the driver’s behaviors with an accuracy of 80%, he said.

Ito concluded that it is possible to predict a traffic jam by observing the data including the three factors. Because the new system can be realized just by developing software for the analysis of the driver’s behaviors, it can be introduced at a low cost without infrastructure on roads or additional in-vehicle sensors. Currently, patents for the new technology are pending.

The new method, which observes the driver’s behaviors, can be used for detecting not only a sign of a traffic jam but also changes in driving behaviors caused by physical and psychological conditions. Therefore, it can be used for notifying the driver of health problems such as bad health and excessive fatigue.

Loss caused by traffic jams is a serious problem around the globe. For example, the time loss caused by traffic jams in Japan is 3.8 billion hours per year (30 hours per citizen), which is equivalent to ¥11.6 trillion (approx US$96.5 billion). So, there is an urgent need for the prevention of traffic jams.

VICS (vehicle information and communication systems), which are currently used for predicting traffic jams, collect information related to traffic jams by using fixed-point cameras set up on roads. But they are available only on some major arterial roads and expressways. Therefore, there has been a demand for systems that do not depend on infrastructure, predict traffic jams only with data obtained by a vehicle and prevent vehicles from being caught in a traffic jam.

Source: Nikkei/Telematics News

Local Authority traffic management systems get green light

  • Market leading Zenco Systems to deliver fully-managed digital monitoring solutions with integrated airtime
  • Local Authorities benefit from a more resilient, cost-effective traffic management solution
  • Connectivity platform and mobile network choice delivered by Wireless Logic.

Zenco Car

In just seven years, Zenco Systems have become the market leader in visual traffic monitoring systems, working with over 35 Local Authorities throughout the UK. Their overarching aim is to deliver digital solutions that keep traffic moving – a vital ingredient in the armoury of Local Authorities as they maintain their commitment to agreed Local Transport Plans. So whether it’s bus lane monitoring, box junction enforcement, or parking proximity to schools, Zenco Systems’ integrated solutions are supporting councils in their drive to keep town centre traffic flowing whilst discouraging anti-social driver behaviour across a number of enforceable actions.

Behind Zenco Systems’ bigger picture is a suite of smart, intuitive technology that provides automatic wireless enforcement via a range of static and mobile cameras. Each system involves a complete 360° solution that captures, transmits and processes both still images and video providing near real-time evidence-based data to a local authority control centre. Data is sent across 3G thus avoiding the need for hard-wired connectivity from the camera to back-office applications. The review and processing of data across Zenco’s own platforms mean that the entire monitoring and control process is delivered as a one-stop solution with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and video analytics all deployed seamlessly.

Working in partnership with resellers, Zenco Systems have, until now, left the critical area of mobile connectivity to the end user. “Whilst a vital part of the entire system, customers were happy to acquire SIMs and handle the ongoing everyday management,” comments Adrian Ford, Sales Director for Zenco Systems. “So whether it was ‘bill shock’ for a data-hungry camera in a busy location, or general connectivity issues, we found that local authorities were very much in the hands of the mobile networks, with varying levels of customer support experienced.”

At the time of Zenco Systems’ review of connectivity, a meeting with Wireless Logic, Europe’s leading M2M Managed Services provider, enlightened the Zenco board to the benefits of providing a fully managed-connectivity solution as part of their traffic monitoring proposition. By partnering with Wireless Logic, Zenco could give local authorities a hassle-free fully cost-managed connectivity solution with the right tariff and associated support. “Our early conversations with the Wireless Logic team soon made us realise that by managing an entire portfolio of SIM-based cameras, we could enjoy complete visibility and control on behalf of our customers, UK-wide,” continues Zenco’s Adrian Ford. “And with SIMs that typically consume between 5GB and 10GB of data per month, our ability to purchase and market competitively would mean additional value-add to both our resellers and end-customers.”

Behind Zenco Systems’ bigger picture is a suite of smart, intuitive technology that provides automatic wireless enforcement

Jon-Paul Clarke, Business Development Director for Wireless Logic explains further: “With Zenco’s nationwide deployment, we were able to highlight a number of opportunities to provide a better connectivity solution to their customers – firstly, a choice of networks so that each camera location is optimised for network coverage, secondly, data aggregation where data usage can be spread across the entire portfolio – allowing more busy locations to balance with less data-intensive installations, and thirdly, complete visibility of Zenco’s entire SIM estate through the Wireless Logic SIMpro platform. This gives Zenco’s teams the ability to manage, monitor and bill, thus empowering councils to purely focus on the business of traffic management with worry-free 3G connectivity.” With traffic monitoring solutions deployed across the country, Zenco Systems are now talking to all local authority partners with options on connectivity management. “The response to our connectivity proposition has been nothing but positive,” adds Adrian Ford. “Users realise that they can now have dedicated data-SIMs that sit o