The world’s largest telecommunications company, AT&T, is expanding its Smart Cities IoT (Internet of Things) portfolio with the introduction of a new structure monitoring system that is intended to help improve the safety of the USA’s road and rail network.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the USA’s infrastructure is aging and in disrepair, with almost half of the country’s bridges more than 50 years old. Organizations normally rely on visual inspections to assess the state of road and railways, but since many are in remote locations, it is difficult to perform regular checks.
AT&T says many of the remote monitoring alternatives use older technology solutions that are bulky and not suited for the long-term. The company is currently testing a new infrastructure monitoring system and is set to deliver a solution so that teams can monitor structural and environmental factors remotely in near real time.
With AT&T’s new Smart Cities Structure Monitoring system, selected infrastructure will receive the company’s LTE-enabled sensors to remotely monitor structural factors. The sensors, which measure things like cracks and tilts, also feature alert triggers and email alerts to capture significant events. The expected benefits to users of the new system include:
• Improved safety and planning;
• Fewer manual inspections that can lower operational costs;
• Ability for organizations to monitor structures in near real-time using the internet.
The new Structure Monitoring product will join AT&T’s growing Smart Cities suite that includes systems for: Digital Infrastructure, City Operations Center, and Smart Grid and Irrigation.
“Safety is a top concern of citizens and cities alike. This concern extends beyond the realm of crime and natural disasters. It also includes the safety of our infrastructure,” said Mike Zeto, general manager of AT&T Smart Cities. “We’re pleased to test this solution, which will allow for smart infrastructure analysis and monitoring.”
Since AT&T launched its Smart Cities division in 2015, its ‘spotlight city’ program has seen:
• Atlanta transform its existing lighting infrastructure into a sensor-enabled data network that helps address issues such as traffic flow, parking optimization, and road safety challenges as part of the Smart Corridor project;
• Dallas use 35% less energy in the first 90 days of its new LED-based smart lighting system;
• Montgomery County Maryland enhance transit ridership through the use of real-time information technology and wi-fi installed on buses and bus shelters;
• Mexico City’s Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) sign an agreement to run an IoT public markets pilot.