Amey, operating as Streets Ahead, is Sheffield City Council’s highways maintenance contractor. It has teamed up with tech company Connexin to create a ‘smart city’, starting with digitised city roadways powered by the Internet of Things.
The vision is waste bins that say they’re full, grit bins that say they’re empty, drains that ask to be cleaned and trees that demand water. The technology is being put in across Sheffield to make it all possible.
By spring, Amey, will have created a digitised public highway network for Sheffield, with thousands of individual sensors communicating wirelessly via smart sensors deployed to the city’s assets.
Using an Internet of Things (IoT) foundation for its digital strategy, Amey is using Connexin’s CityOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information to improve highway maintenance services across Sheffield.
Connexin’s CityOS platform, described by the firm as the ‘operating system of a smart city’, is being delivered in partnership with Cisco and Quantela and will digitally connect highway maintenance services and keep Amey operatives informed about the condition of street assets.
Sheffield is not the only city investing in this smart tech; Connexin is also working with Hull City Council to install a smart city operating system.
Amey’s James Haluch, managing director of transport infrastructure, said: “Technology is becoming more and more part of our everyday lives. Working with our partners in the public and private sector, we have to make radical changes to the way we deliver services. 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, allowing us to provide a continually evolving service for Sheffield residents.”
Connexin sales director Rob Bullock said: “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.”
Sheffield city councillor Mark Jones, cabinet member for environment, street scene and climate change, said: “This is very much about us working better and smarter towards a greener and cleaner future for Sheffield. 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. Following installation, those who live and work in our city should see a positive impact on their neighbourhoods fairly quickly. Sheffield is an ambitious and proud city and where we lead, others will follow.”