Sheffield City Council’s highways contractor, Amey, has partnered with technology company Connexin to build the UK’s latest Smart City, starting with digitised road assets connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Amey, which operates Sheffield’s ‘Streets Ahead’ highways maintenance contract, is positioning itself at the forefront of connected infrastructure technology to deliver a more efficient service to the city via a platform provided by Smart City operator, Connexin. Using an IoT foundation for its digital strategy, Amey will use Connexin’s CityOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information to improve highway maintenance services and revolutionise service delivery across Sheffield. By spring, the city’s highways contractor, Amey, will have created a digitised public highway network for Sheffield, with thousands of individual smart sensors deployed on the city’s assets communicating wirelessly with the CityOS platform.
Connexin’s CityOS platform, described by the Hull-based company as the ‘Operating System of a Smart City’, is being delivered in partnership with Cisco and Quantela and will digitally connect essential highway maintenance services and inform operatives about the condition of street assets in real-time. For example, when to; clear gullies to reduce the risk of flash flooding, empty high street rubbish bins to avoid overflowing, water trees for preservation, and refill grit bins ready for icy conditions. Another major benefit of the system will be a reduction in air pollution, with maintenance staff making fewer journeys across the city and being able to avoid spots where air quality levels are poor, contributing to the city’s Clean Air Strategy.
“This is very much about us working better and smarter towards a greener and cleaner future for Sheffield,” explained Mark Jones, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change. “By investing in this new initiative, our contractors will be undertaking fewer journeys, which in turn will result in a reduction in energy consumption, pollution and congestion, while ensuring our streets are kept clean and our bins are emptied using a more efficient and effective approach. Using technology in this pioneering way will help the Council in its efforts to tackle the climate crisis while improving standards.”
Connexin’s chief sales officer, Rob Bullock, commented, “Our complete solution is built on the CityOS platform, bringing together the best of breed capabilities from Cisco Kinetic for Cities and the Atlantis Smart City platform from Quantela which together present the city’s assets in a single aggregated view. This project has far reaching, long term benefits that go beyond simply delivering service efficiencies. A city with reduced service vehicles contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution is a benefit to everyone and has the potential to become the ‘new norm’ for how services are delivered to cities. The investment Amey has made in CityOS will support an agile approach to future technology adoption. CityOS is ‘open’ and as new use cases are discovered, Amey will be able to integrate new data sets to expand their service offering.”
James Haluch, managing director of transport infrastructure at Amey, noted, “I’m delighted that we’re embracing Connexin’s technology, which is one of the first times it’s been used in a city environment, that will benefit our service delivery and help to improve local communities. It will also offer a more environmentally sustainable solution to reduce our carbon footprint and maximise the use of resources.”
To watch a video about the Sheffield project, click HERE