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Smarter Suffolk meets Canadian technology

8 June 2021

The Smarter Suffolk Live Lab has joined forces with Canadian technology firm, LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. Project Manager, Brigitte Sodano-Carter, of Suffolk County Council takes us through this exciting collaboration and the wide ranging use of sensors in their trial.

We are so pleased to have Liveable Cities (a division of LED Roadway Lighting Ltd) involved in our project, providing 25 Smart City micro-sensors for use in the Suffolk trial. They are also involved in trials in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, bringing a timely and international perspective to our smart sensors trial. 

The cleantech company designs its sensors for use on public streetlights so are well suited to the needs of the Suffolk trial. They have supplied five air quality sensors and twenty traffic speed and volume sensors along with the related software, and they are providing us with online training to support their installation and use.

The data collected and insights offered will support and improve the trial’s ultimate aim to improve community decision-making. 

Once installed, the sensors collect data 24/7, 365 days of the year and report the data back to a specially developed software program using the existing cellular mobile communication network. The software provides access to data that can be organized into actionable reports for review and to support decision-making. Radars for speed monitoring will give us real-time reporting and vehicle speeds mapping, and again enable us to use evidence-based information to highlight problem locations for improved traffic speed enforcement where needed. 

Traffic Flow monitoring measures the amount of traffic flowing past the sensors at different times of the day, using 85th percentile traffic data. This type of data will provide us with useful insights to support long-term traffic trend analysis and future town planning that will have a further impact on traffic volumes. 

Air Quality Micro‐Sensors actively monitor and report pollution levels that can have negative impacts on human and environment health in an area where the sensor is present. Reporting air quality metrics like PM2.5 will enable us to deploy evidence‐based decision-making for urban mobility planning.

This year, we are working with a further 12 different sensor technology providers to test the performance of seven different types of sensor in different urban, rural and coastal locations across Suffolk. More than 100 sensors have now been installed so that we can evaluate how they perform, as well as understanding the trends emerging from the data we receive. The types of sensor installed include radar cameras to measure vehicle classifications and volumes, air quality monitors, wind speed/direction gauges, road surface temperature sensors, gully monitoring sensors, grit and litter bin sensors, and bridge impact sensors.

The Smarter Suffolk Live Lab is being supported by project partners at BT Adastral Park and the University of Suffolk. The trial runs until the end of October 2021. To find out more about the project’s first year highlights in 2020, visit: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news/show/successful-4-4m-adaptive-street-lighting-project-celebrates-first-year.