To generate important data for a Smart City, why not use something that already exists within the municipal infrastructure? Lamp posts, for example, are spread all over the city. Equipped with an independent power supply, the right innovative sensors and an internet connection, they can be the ideal IoT access point to collect the needed local data in real time.
Within the Smarter Together project scope, 60 smart lamp posts were installed within the Smarter Together project area of Neuaubing-Westkreuz and Freiham by spring 2018. In addition to their lighting function, the posts have a separate second power supply that allows sensors to measure and capture local data such as air quality, weather and traffic data. The local data can then be transferred to a central smart data platform, edited and made available for further use: for urban planning topics, for display on a city map or incorporated into the Munich SmartCity app or portal that could allow local residents to access and use all kinds of up-to-date status reports.
Each post is internet-enabled, allowing the transfer of data securely to a central repository. Due to this fact they can also double as hotspots to provide free public wifi access via the city’s offered M-WLAN.
Working together with citizens, Smarter Together defined a framework for the selection of sensors. This framework included the requirement that the sensors should not be able to collect personal data, recognise car number plates or recognise faces. In addition, all sensors exclusively face onto public spaces.
The lamp posts are currently used to run trials on different sensors. They are also described as “urban labs” or “real labs”, testing digital services and the benefits they provide in the project area. Details can be found online in the transparency dashboard: https://transparency.smartdataplatform.info/