Smart city solutions rely on a large network of inexpensive sensors to measure parameters and detect events in such diverse areas as waste management, traffic management, pollution level management, water supply management, traffic light and street light repairs, parking, speeding and road crime control…
WHAT IS SCENE ?
However, traditional smart city implementation demands steep investments in infrastructure, to guarantee “always-on” Internet connectivity for the sensor network, to allow immediate communication between the sensors and the command & control infrastructure. Current communication technology also limits the amount of data that each sensor can produce and communicate, as the deployment of video or hi-res photo capable sensors can produce high bandwidth requirements even for a medium-sized sensor network.
The concept of the SCENE proposal is to leverage public transportation as an inexpensive way of ensure city-wide connectivity for the sensor network. By providing buses, trams, taxis and other vehicles with smart gateways that function as relay hubs for sensor communication, the system guarantees the maximum coverage. The intelligent gateways will not only be used to provide Internet access to users in the vehicles, but it will contribute to the deployment of services related to smart cities from three main perspectives: acting as a cost efficient opportunistic access network for sensors, implementing logic in intelligent gateways to locally process sensors’ information and caching information from online services that is locally consumed by users.
SCENE Intelligent Gateway
An on-board unit that implements caching and processing capabilities and provides network access tools for sensors. It also implements a framework/installer that enables the installation of basic logic modules for smart city services (following the principles of edge computing) e.g. to handle lack of Internet connectivity scenarios or to allow local processing and consumption of information. The intelligent gateway will be responsible for the communication with content service providers, using standard interfaces such as Web access and Web services.
A web user interface where operators of SCENE can manage and monitor the service. The dashboard will include management controls and monitoring information for the intelligent gateways and entities within the service platform (sensors/intelligent gateways registration, software/firmware upgrade, applications deployment, connectivity status, traffic metrics, etc.). Additionally, it will also show other metrics inferred (by the Analytics module) e.g. related to citizens’ behaviour. SCENE dashboard will consume APIs and interfaces exposed by the service platform.
SCENE Service Platform
The main module for managing the SCENE Platform. It implements all the business logic of the central system, managing the persistence of all the data received by the Intelligent Gateways. It centralizes all the management functionalities for inventory, configurations and status monitoring for IOT sensors, Intelligent Gateways and communication networks. Identity, Access Management and provisioning regarding users, devices and sensors are core functionalities inside the Service Platform. An Analytics module is included, which gathers data by the whole services to produce reports and statistics about sensors and measures ingested into the data lake. Data analytics will be performed on various statistical and machine learning operations. An API Manager service will be in charge for managing interactions with external smart city services and with the Dashboard. The Service Platform is also responsible for the deployment of smart city applications into the Intelligent Gateways.
SCENE security framework
Based on a distributed set of security components comprising orchestration (implemented at the SCENE Service Platform) and secure access / security detection & reaction nodes (implemented at the SCENE Intelligent Gateways). The service platform allows, by means of a extended SDN API, to monitor and control security entities running on the intelligent gateways. In turn, these latter are both enabled with the capability to perform secure access to locally serviced IoT networks and that of passively monitoring (intrusion detection) these constrained networks. Intelligent gateways also feature advanced self-protection security mechanisms.
SCENE addresses customer needs in a way no other competitor has done so far by combining technological elements in a new value proposition and addressing the emergent market of smart city initiatives. We target an underserved market niche of cities under 1M inhabitants, who could benefit from smart services, but at the same time cannot afford it due to budget restrictions.
SCENE is designed to be marketed as a solution which can invigorate local SME innovation and allow the customers to re-sell the solution in B2B and B2C model towards content and smart city service providers, advertisers, etc, thus recuperating the investment they make.
SCENE will collect sensor data through several technologies (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN as LoRa or 6LowPAN) by passing vehicles in the vicinity of deployed sensors. As public transportation has a relatively dense schedule over the entire city, the achieved coverage will have very close to real-time processing for the majority of applications.
They can very easily test their solutions using the same process, too. Municipalities will be the main beneficiaries by getting a solution for two public service areas – transport (quality Wi-Fi access in transport and integration with smart transport applications) and smart city infrastructure.
The smart city functionalities can cover also smart transport applications as information from on-board sensors can be integrated with intelligent transport systems for traffic management. Smart city service providers will have to simply link their solutions to SCENE by installing an application on the intelligent gateways without the need of buying and installing their own gateways throughout the city or worrying about existence of coverage of a certain communication protocol.
SCENE will collect and process the data – e.g. calculate the fullness of a trash can or it will request information as weather data, combine it with readings from sensors in a park and send an instruction to watering system to water or not, etc. Using caching technology, SCENE can pre-fetch and store needed information by certain applications in advance – e.g. it will get the weather forecast using Wi-Fi, store it and deliver it to sensors in an area where there is no Wi-Fi coverage (these sensors would have otherwise used 3G/4G to obtain that info or bi-directional link to an LPWAN antenna).