Smarter Transport with the Internet of Things

Smarter Transport with the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly gaining traction in the transport industries. Governments and transport organisations are realising that the IoT can offer incredible insights into their use of infrastructure and how they plan their services.

In Chicago, for example, a big new project is using an Array of Things (AoT) to monitor pollution and vibration levels using specialised sensors attached to lamp posts. Overall, there will be 500 nodes across the city by the end of 2017.

According to the project’s website, the AoT will “essentially serve as a “fitness tracker” for the city, measuring factors that impact liveability in Chicago such as climate, air quality and noise."

The project is being run by local government, the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory and the resulting sensor network will be the largest of its kind. It was made possible by a substantial grant of $3.1 million from the National Science Foundation.

The sensors will publish their recordings in almost real time to the city’s open data portal, meaning that any department in the city can have access to it. This should help with emergency, short term and long term planning of all kinds. It also means that innovative applications, such as a mobile app that allows a resident to track their exposure to certain air contaminants, would be possible.
Lots more could be done with the data, too, including:

  • studying the relationships between diseases and the urban environment

  • real-time flooding detection

  • localised, high resolution climate information for residents

  • information for planning new transport routes

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