UK’s first purpose-built Smart City operating system deployed in Hull


Located on England’s north-east coast, Kingston upon Hull (Hull) will become the first city in the UK to benefit from its own purpose-built Smart City Operating System (OS) that will connect essential council services and centralize information from multiple sources that can be analyzed and used to promote a better quality of life for residents.

Hull City Council (Hull CC) has forged a partnership with Internet of Things (IoT) technology developer Connexin to deliver its CityOS platform to make Hull a world-leading Smart City. Described as the ‘Operating System of a Smart City’, Hull CC will use Connexin’s CityOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information from a range of council services, sensors and systems, using a single intelligent dashboard. Information from current and future data producing deployments, such as smart lighting, traffic management, parking, CCTV, waste management and WiFi deployments, are to be integrated into the ‘single pane of glass’ software platform.

Connexin’s Smart City operating system is built around the Cisco Kinetic for Cities (CKC) platform, which takes data from a range of sensors into a set of services such as waste, lighting and parking. CKC has already been deployed in projects worldwide and brings more than 70 Cisco certified integrations which the firm will actively maintain and update. Headquartered in the city, Connexin has a long-term relationship with Hull CC. Earlier this year, the company optimized waste collection from 4,000 public rubbish bins across the city using its carrier-grade citywide LoRaWAN (Long-Range Wide-Area Network) network to provide backhaul connectivity to the in-bin sensors. Connexin also integrated more than 450 cameras into the network, with the citywide CCTV system now one of the largest and most complex of its type in the UK.

“Our platform will enable Hull to become a ‘programmable city’ and move from outdated siloed service driven technologies to a central platform to improve service delivery, reduce costs and to make the most of new technologies such as IoT, AI and machine learning algorithms,” said Furqan Alamgir, founder and CEO of Connexin. “Our partnership with Cisco gives Hull the ability to manage sensors from multiple vendors in one place, removing the reliance on legacy systems and their associated costs.”

Scot Gardner, chief executive of Cisco UK & Ireland, said, “When you start to think of a city as programmable, there is opportunity to not only improve individual services with technology, but use combined data insight from those services to create a holistic, actionable view for local authorities. Hull City Council are investing in the future of their city to help it become one of the smartest in the world, and we’re delighted to be a part of that with Connexin.”

Deputy leader of Hull CC, Daren Hale, said, “The project will involve innovative technological solutions to enhance data-sharing and decision-making, which will help us to deliver more effective services, including everything from traffic management to health and social care. The system pulls together information that currently sits within separate council computer systems to enable citywide management of public assets in real-time using state-of-the-art technology. Residents will receive better information to make choices about transport, traffic and parking.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.