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THINKING HIGHWAYS @ 10


However, a key issue is the fact that this


infrastructure should not just be used by one agency, but can benefit the whole community. In this way, additional sen- sors could be added to the system, which might not obviously belong within a traffic system. An example of this could be level sensors installed in litter bins to optimise waste management collection rounds. In addition, the system should be capable of conveying information, not only from dif- ferent city authorities, but also a diverse range of stakeholders, including private entities, who may wish to contribute and share in the benefits of this data exchange. The benefits of an Open Data model may include encouraging a more diverse range of stakeholders to share in the associated costs, which would have traditionally been an overhead to a couple of different local authority departments. Another benefit of the lower cost over-


heads generally associated with IoT type sensors is the ability to increase the den- sity of sensors. By increasing the numbers of data nodes across an area, the improved


48


 An Array of Things sensor being installed in Chicago


granularity of the information gener- ated provides capabilities for ‘hyper-local’ insights to be generated, and the effects of any minor inaccuracies in individual sensor readings will be balanced across the larger number of sensors being used. Additionally, because of the reduced


needs for supporting infrastructure, they allow units to be deployed ‘off-grid’ in areas which have not previously been instrumented because of the difficulty and expense of providing electrical supplies and communication links. This is of par- ticular interest in rural areas where roads can be susceptible to disruption caused by a very wide ranging set of causes, and sen-


sors such as climatic and incident detection would have been prohibitively expensive to install. A large proportion of the Strategic Road


Network (SRN, predominantly motorways and trunk roads), has been equipped with a comprehensive Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) infrastructure over the years. Typically, this includes facilities ranging from emergency roadside telephones, incident detection, Variable Message Signs (VMS) and CCTV through to advanced SMART motorway implementations. How- ever, there are still routes, which usually because of their rural nature, have not been equipped. Emerging ‘expressway’ stand-


“The benefits of an Open Data model may include encouraging a more diverse range of stakeholders to share in the associated costs, which would have traditionally been an overhead to a couple of different local authority departments”


www.thinkinghighways.com


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