Kungsgatan to communicate with Norrköping citizens

The Testbädd Kungsgatan project has been awarded SEK 1.5 million from the Norrköping Fund for Research and Development until May 2021. The grant will be used to develop an IoT platform as a service that will collect data along the street and allow for applications to be built utilizing them.

Norrköping City. Thor Balkhed

“Initially, we focus only on the traffic aspect of Kungsgatan, and through that aim to show what is possible, and what is not, utilizing such a platform”, says Vangelis Angelakis, who leads the project.

The first version of the platform will be ready for use in the end of the summer. Several sensors will be positioned along the street, giving information about traffic density, air-borne particles, and noise levels. Open, as well as third-party data can be subsequently added to the sensor data. Such can be information from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and Östgötatrafiken.

“Security, privacy, and data integrity will be core design elements in developing the platform.”

Kungsgatan

Kungsgatan has been chosen as a testbed on traffic because it is narrow, has heavy traffic and several building sites, and passes both the university and Skvallertorget, with its streams of pedestrians and cyclists across the square.

Vangelis Angelakis Photo credit THOR BALKHED“The police are at one end of Kungsgatan and the rescue services at the other, and both should be able to get through”, Vangelis Angelakis points out.

“We will concentrate completely on traffic in the testbed”, he continues. “When a lorry arrives with a delivery for one of the building sites, it shouldn’t be necessary to stop the traffic in both directions for hours. Effective communication should make it possible to open the building site gate just as the lorry arrives.”

The researchers will contact various groups in Norrköping that may have special requirements. Aside from key stakeholders like the police and the rescue services, what information about accessibility in town do those who use wheelchairs need? Or those with young children in a pram? What about those allergic to pollen – what information do they need and when do they need it?

“We want to hear about the requirements people have to show how collected data can be used to design services for them” he says.

Opportunity for students

It’s not clear how the information is to reach the users, but there are several possibilities: through a website, an app in a mobile, or on signs in the street. “that in itself is potentially a following project.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students, who will gain access to exciting real-world examples, and the project has sufficient material for several master’s theses”, says Vangelis Angelakis.

The research is a collaboration with, among others, Norrköping Municipality, RISE and SMHI.

This is the tenth year that the Norrköping Fund for Research and Development has awarded project grants. These are intended to raise the educational level of Norrköping’s citizens, improve operations in the municipality, strengthen education and research at Campus Norrköping, and reinforce the labour market and business world in Norrköping. This year, five projects received a total of SEK 5.3 million.

Translated by George Farrants

Photo credit Thor Balkhed

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