Navigant Research Blog

Smart Street Lights a Key Platform for Smart City Infrastructure

— December 2, 2016

The city lamppost is increasingly recognized as a valuable asset that can support a range of smart city applications beyond smart street lighting. There are significant benefits to be had from smart lighting deployments, considering that networked LED street lights can offer 65%-75% energy savings for cities. However, the full benefit of the lamppost is reached when it can act as infrastructure for multiple smart city applications. These additional applications can include air quality monitoring, security alerts, parking and traffic management, electronic signage, mesh Wi-Fi services, and more.

New York-based startup Totem Power recently unveiled its Totem platform for smart city projects, which combines communications infrastructure with energy infrastructure. The company’s prototype lamppost platform is powered by solar energy and supplemented by battery storage to provide capabilities such as Wi-Fi, 4G communications, and EV charging, in addition to traditional smart street lighting services. The first Totem street light model is expected to be released in summer 2017.

Totem Power’s Smart City Platform

Smart Lighting

(Source: Totem Power, Inc.)

Established Suppliers Utilizing Street Lights as a Platform

There is also an increasing recognition by more established players in the market that smart street lighting can serve as the foundational infrastructure for a variety of smart city technology deployments. Panasonic recently entered into a partnership with LED streetlight provider Schréder to integrate its sensors, cameras, and software applications into the company’s luminaires in an effort to transform existing lighting infrastructure into an integrated smart city platform.

Siemens is planning a new smart parking system both within existing smart street lighting infrastructure and in combination with traffic management applications. In addition to detecting open parking spots, Siemens’ overhead radar sensors (in development) are expected to measure speed and traffic conditions, detect parking violations, and detect the flow of pedestrians. Sensity (acquired by Verizon in September 2016) is also combining smart street lighting with other applications, namely with its NetSense smart parking solution. This integrated application enables owners and parking operators to increase parking revenue while simultaneously achieving additional cost savings associated with LED lighting. Established smart street lighting provider Silver Spring Networks has also been active in using street lights as a platform.

Benefits Too Large to Ignore

Using smart street lighting as a platform for other smart city applications provides benefits to both cities and suppliers. Cities can save on infrastructure costs through the integration of several applications within existing street light infrastructure, resulting in lower average project costs (per application) and additional valuable services being provided to its citizens. This approach offers the potential for added revenue streams (for both cities and suppliers) related to the lampposts. Suppliers offering the delivery of multiple services through street light infrastructure have the potential to increase revenue through recurring software fees, since services such as advanced analytics will be increasingly important under a multiple service model.

Cities are increasingly demanding services and products that can be shared across departments, not in siloes. Suppliers offering a variety of services that can be delivered cost-effectively through existing street light infrastructure are likely to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

 

Tackling the People Problem: Another Promise of IoT

— December 2, 2016

The intelligent buildings market has been defined by the convergence of controls and automation and information technologies. The competitive landscape has shifted as software analytics have become foundational to commercial building optimization. The technology is ahead of the curve when considering the business transformation these solutions can enable. There is a huge addressable market for intelligent buildings, but executives, building operators, and facilities managers are still learning the business value and practical implications of technology deployment. The chasm between technology and user maturation can be thought of as the people problem; Ian Campbell, technologies services director at Grosvenor Services, clarifies the point: “The concept of a smart building is meaningless unless you apply Technology, People, and Process. It’s nothing without people.”

IoT Enablement

Facilities management is not the cutting edge of technology adoption. Even as the intelligent buildings market has developed, customers have been conservative in implementation, learning through pilots and demonstrations of business value. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the game for the intelligent buildings market with dramatically lower total cost of ownership, ease of deployment and implementation, and broad business effects. That IoT solutions can deliver value to stakeholders across an organization while meeting their technology and investment requirements sets the stage for a tipping point for more widespread and rapid adoption.

Beyond Energy Efficiency

Customers need to see a rapid return on investment (ROI) to make the commitment to intelligent building solutions. The energy efficiency gains of intelligent building technologies provide the easiest demonstration of ROI, but for many customers, this falls short. The information delivered by an IoT solution is much more wide-reaching.

IoT-enabled intelligent building solutions create rich data sets about commercial buildings. Software analytics translate this data into business information that can tackle key pain points across an organization. For example, occupancy trends can help the building engineers fine-tune heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to increase comfort and improve repair and maintenance processes. That same data can be translated into information about occupant behaviors that define productivity for business profit.

Digital Lumens recently explained another business benefit of IoT—physical security. “To further maximize security, managers are also utilizing occupancy sensing data to create virtual fences around particular areas within a facility, sensing and alerting the manager in real-time if any trespassing has occurred,” said Kaynam Hedayat, VP of product management and marketing with the company.

The bottom line is that IoT intelligent building solutions help customers make data-driven business decisions, create time-saving improvements in maintenance and repairs, and improve the employee and customer experience. These benefits mean stronger financial statements and new budgets for technology investment.

Interested in additional Navigant Research perspective on IoT? Check out the new IoT research service.

 

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