The Indian Leaders Programme included Santander among the cities to visit in order to show participants the SmartSantander project. Research and service to citizens are the two main goals of the plan, which was explained to the delegation by Professor Luis Muñoz, chair of Telematics Engineering at the University of Cantabria and coordinator of the project.
There are currently 50,000 IoT (Internet of Things) devices all over the city which, according to Luis Muñoz, is ideal for the development of a pioneering activity of this kind given its relatively small size.
During the presentation, the participants in the Programme were able to have a look at the screens showing the status of the devices around the city in real time. The devices collect all sorts of information that is processed at a later stage and used for different purposes. The humidity and solar radiation data, for example, are used by the City Council’s Parks and Recreation department to control irrigation.
Urban traffic was one of the aspects that attracted the Leaders’ attention. They showed great interest in the sensors located in parking spaces, which indicate the empty spaces on every road, as well as those offering information on vehicle flow, which allow for the creation of predictive maps of traffic in the city.
The scalability of this system for large cities such as those in India was also of interest to the participants, especially to Dr. Manvendra Deswal, head of the smart city mission of the Confederation of Indian Industry. The decentralisation of the system in districts would be the ideal solution for the management of larger cities, as Luis Muñoz highlighted during his presentation.
Waste management is another aspect that has brought the SmartSantander project greater international renown. The efficiency of the collection service has been doubled by using sensors in the inorganic waste and paper bins, which allows the City Council to save both fuel and work hours.
The presentation of the project finished with a field trip to get to know the installation methods of sensors and antennae on the ground and facades and the electronic signs that provide citizens with information about empty parking spots, air quality, etc. Luis Muñoz highlighted that citizen participation is essential, and that’s why the University and other participating institutions offer a series of websites and mobile apps the public can use to get information, point out incidents and even suggest future lines of research and implementation of IoT services in the city.
The Leaders showed an interest in the sensors located in parking spaces, which indicate the empty spaces on every road, as well as those offering information on vehicle flow, which allow for the creation of predictive maps of traffic in the city
5th Indian Leaders Programme report.
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