Sensors enable smart apps from dumb posts

Article By : Vivek Nanda

Using LEDs, intelligent streetlighting with sensors can save electricity consumption as well as enable new applications like traffic and weather reporting.

Infineon has teamed up with Eluminocity to develop an intelligent streetlight that can help save energy and enable new connected infrastructure.

With 70% of mankind expected to reside in urban environments by 2050, Infineon sees it as an opportunity for smarter, secure and energy-efficient solutions, said a press release. The company is hoping for the streetlight effort to become the backbone of future cities.

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Figure 1: The 'intelligent streetlight' from Infineon and Eluminocity offers a secured platform with a scalable sensor hub, data processing and connectivity.

Talking streetlights

“Together with our partners we can offer a secured platform with scalable sensor hub, data processing and connectivity,” said Andreas Urschitz, President of Power Management & Multimarket Division at Infineon. “Our solution leverages existing cellular infrastructure and can support the evolution towards 5G deployment.”

Sebastian Jagsch, CEO and founder of Eluminocity, added, “This [the scalable, connected platform] enables us to constantly develop new applications to tackle upcoming demands.”

More than a dumb post

Infineon is providing expertise in sensors, power management chips and security solutions, while Eluminocity is bringing to the partnership its know-how in system integration, data analysis and applications. Other partners will deliver connectivity, computing and cloud resources, according to Infineon. The intelligent streetlight can be protected against unauthorised access from the cloud down to the device level and can be enabled for updating by means of hardware and software.

The intelligent streetlight uses LEDs to save energy. Around 19% of the world's electricity consumption is generated by lighting, of which about 80% is used in professional applications such as street lighting.

The streetlight doubles as an integrated charging station for electric vehicles (EVs), which enables rolling out of EV infratructure to residential areas. The streetlight can also be equipped with parking spot detection sensors to feed to the cloud information about vacant parking spaces and become the basis for an intelligent traffic management system.

Similarly, integrated radar sensors can help the intelligent streetlight adapt to changes in environmental conditions.

Future proofing

The streetlight offers the option to add other sensors and functionality. For instance, gas sensors can measure air quality and report when defined limits are exceeded via a cloud connection to a municipal control centre. This capability would allow joggers to know when to expect the best air quality in the city.

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