Live Labs Blog

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs Programme is a two-year, £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport that will run until Spring 2021. This page will give regular updates on the project.

Latest post

Smarter Suffolk meets Canadian technology

8 June 2021

The Smarter Suffolk Live Lab has joined forces with Canadian technology firm, LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. Project Manager, Brigitte Sodano-Carter, of Suffolk County Council takes us through this exciting collaboration and the wide ranging use of sensors in their trial.

We are so pleased to have Liveable Cities (a division of LED Roadway Lighting Ltd) involved in our project, providing 25 Smart City micro-sensors for use in the Suffolk trial. They are also involved in trials in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, bringing a timely and international perspective to our smart sensors trial. 

The cleantech company designs its sensors for use on public streetlights so are well suited to the needs of the Suffolk trial. They have supplied five air quality sensors and twenty traffic speed and volume sensors along with the related software, and they are providing us with online training to support their installation and use.

The data collected and insights offered will support and improve the trial’s ultimate aim to improve community decision-making. 

Once installed, the sensors collect data 24/7, 365 days of the year and report the data back to a specially developed software program using the existing cellular mobile communication network. The software provides access to data that can be organized into actionable reports for review and to support decision-making. Radars for speed monitoring will give us real-time reporting and vehicle speeds mapping, and again enable us to use evidence-based information to highlight problem locations for improved traffic speed enforcement where needed. 

Traffic Flow monitoring measures the amount of traffic flowing past the sensors at different times of the day, using 85th percentile traffic data. This type of data will provide us with useful insights to support long-term traffic trend analysis and future town planning that will have a further impact on traffic volumes. 

Air Quality Micro‐Sensors actively monitor and report pollution levels that can have negative impacts on human and environment health in an area where the sensor is present. Reporting air quality metrics like PM2.5 will enable us to deploy evidence‐based decision-making for urban mobility planning.

This year, we are working with a further 12 different sensor technology providers to test the performance of seven different types of sensor in different urban, rural and coastal locations across Suffolk. More than 100 sensors have now been installed so that we can evaluate how they perform, as well as understanding the trends emerging from the data we receive. The types of sensor installed include radar cameras to measure vehicle classifications and volumes, air quality monitors, wind speed/direction gauges, road surface temperature sensors, gully monitoring sensors, grit and litter bin sensors, and bridge impact sensors.

The Smarter Suffolk Live Lab is being supported by project partners at BT Adastral Park and the University of Suffolk. The trial runs until the end of October 2021. To find out more about the project’s first year highlights in 2020, visit: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news/show/successful-4-4m-adaptive-street-lighting-project-celebrates-first-year.

More posts

  • 30 November 2020

    Live Labs Community Impact: Adult Social Care

    In our latest blog, Zoe Collis, the Live Labs Adult Integration Project Manager from Buckinghamshire Council, and Brigitte Sodano-Carter, the Project Delivery and Development Manager from Suffolk County Council, talk about their Live Labs trials to support adult social care within their communities. 

    Read more >

  • 2 November 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Top Marks for Collaboration

    To deliver cutting edge innovations, our Live Labs have turned to a wide range of partners, including those in academia. Collaborating with universities has offered many benefits for all involved.   

    Read more >

  • 30 September 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Getting ready for winter

    As the nights start to draw in and temperatures drop, we take a look at how some of our Live Lab innovations can support highways in the winter months…

    One of the most exciting initiatives is Central Bedfordshire’s Thermal Energy Live Lab. The Council is using the Thorn Turn Highways Depot as a test site for a system called Power Road. 

    Read more >

  • 28 August 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Kent goes international

    From drone and road surface temperature sensor trials, to collaboration with other Live Lab projects and fostering international connections, Carol Valentine, Highways Project Manager Live Labs at Kent County Council, gives an update on Kent’s Local Highways Asset Management Technology Incubator initiative.

    Read more >

  • 3 June 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Buckinghamshire lights up

    As with all local authority programmes across the country, Buckinghamshire’s Live Lab, a SMART connected community project in Aylesbury Garden Town, has been impacted by COVID-19. While work has continued at a slower pace with some partners furloughing staff and the team working from home, some aspects of the project that began before lockdown, are able to carry on.

    In our latest blog, John Hartley from Exel Composities UK, brings a partner perspective…

    Read more >

  • 16 April 2020

    Live Labs blog: Birmingham test-bed for innovative video analytics

    The Network Resilience Live Lab is progressing well in its aims to use innovative video analytics to help combat road congestion in Birmingham and Solihull. 

    In this blog, we take a look back at the very first trials conducted in February 2019 and how these tests were vital in gathering valuable insight that continues to inform our project activities and deliver best practice.

    Identifying the ideal test route 

    Read more >

  • 9 March 2020

    Suffolk Live Labs: all about that data

    Suffolk County Council’s £4.41m Live Lab is exploring how we can use smart technology across our urban, rural and coastal environments to revolutionise the services we deliver.

    Data is the core of our project and we will be analysing information collected from sensors that monitor road surface temperature, vehicle numbers and classifications, gully levels and air quality to make working efficiencies and reduce costs. We will be testing a multitude of sensors across our differing environments and ultimately working to develop new national standards and guidance.

    Read more >