Smart City

Technology for Smart Cities: Building Blocks for Better Urban Environments

Targeted use of technology and networking on a small scale generate progress on a large scale

The city of the future is to become “smart”. Enrichment by intelligent technology will enable the infrastructure, transport, traffic and areas of activity which are important to residents and businesses to be automated and holistically controlled. Traffic flow management, interactive displays and terminals of all kinds for information and transactions, as well as automatic dispensing machines and automated systems are important examples. This does not require massive projects that require more and more technology and high investment costs. The focus has to be on people, and with intelligent technological measures in the right places, the smart city will become a reality.

The challenges: many stand-alone solutions

Cities and urban functions are generally organised in small units in line with their purposes. Means of transport, traffic light controls, display systems or digital signage as well as all kinds of automatic machines and automated terminals offer a range of possibilities for monitoring and/or control. For security reasons infrastructure elements such as energy supply operate in isolation or without end-to-end networking. Their options, interfaces and also interoperability are therefore often limited. This means that monitoring and control are implemented in different ways, using a wide variety of control paths. As a result, the technical elements of a city can’t “talk to each other”. However, intelligent urban functions are a prerequisite for smart cities, for example to enable city-wide traffic flow management in the future.

The solutions: networking concepts from small to large

The digital systems that will enrich a city in the medium term or make everyday life easier for people all need to become Internet-capable, which is achieved via routers or gateways. From this point onwards the exchange of data with systems becomes possible for higher-order purposes, e.g. traffic flow management for an entire district instead of traffic light management for a street corner. In addition, local functionalities and intelligence are added, together with remote monitoring, maintenance and control. IT protocols as a standard pave the way for comprehensive management models. An important factor here is that the router technology used has to be mature and manageable without additional input and cost.

It is highly important to monitor existing and future traffic light systems, as well as fixed and mobile traffic light systems, and to design the control system in a targeted and flexible way. Monitoring can apply to both the traffic light systems and the traffic flow. Exhaust pollution can also be reduced in this way. Thinking even further, digitalised control systems mean that vehicles could influence the switching systems in the future. New systems are often directly Internet-capable via fibre optic connections. Existing systems usually operate via modem protocols and copper wire, so that the routers used have to bridge the gap between the old protocols and the world of IT protocols via suitable interfaces. The Internet connection is optionally provided via mobile radio communications, which will offer the necessary bandwidths for the control of driverless vehicles.

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INSYS icom Smart City -EN Step 3: addition of encryption and/or functionality Step 2: selection of router and Internet connection The purpose of the application or the device types and device organisation that are to be made "smart" in the sense of comprehensive monitoring and control all need to be clearly defined. In principle, many types of device can be made Internet-capable. Options include the further use of data in cloud solutions (cloud computing or BigData approaches) or the downloading and use of data on the device locally, the use of software executed locally (edge computing), the implementation of VPN security solutions or the extension of the individual scenario, e.g. video monitoring of traffic flow via a traffic light control system. Step 1: defining the scenario There are suitable routers for every application scenario. For digital signage applications these can be simple models with a mobile radio connection, while charging stations require a model with strong hardware and a range of interfaces so that software applications can be run.

The solution: flexible routers, simple device management and maximum availability

INSYS icom offers solutions for almost every scenario and device type. While the examples mentioned are frequently used and represented via tried-and-tested standard routers and software packages, new application scenarios can also be implemented with little effort.

Internet router selection

Various router models with different interfaces and performance ranges are available for highly diverse areas of application and requirements. They include the following options:

  • Flexible interfaces for the integration of existing technology and protocols
  • Variable and modular connection via DSL, WAN, fibre or mobile radio for data communication as a redundancy or fallback solution, incl. optional SIM service (see below)
  • Simple device configuration instead of time-consuming programming
  • Integrated router management for easy administration of even very many devices (see below)

icom Router Management (iRM)

All INSYS icom routers with icom OS can be set up in minutes via the iRM router management function. Your entire installation can be managed conveniently and easily without additional IT knowledge.

  • Convenient management of individual or all routers
  • Simple model, browser-based technology
  • On-premises and remote (cloud) management models available
  • Precisely configurable, highly scalable and with a security concept
  • No need for additional service providers for maintenance & administration
  • Subsequent expansion of device functions on site (edge computing)

Optional SIM service

INSYS icom’s SIM service ensures that rolled-out devices can establish an Internet connection via a wide range of mobile networks in all European countries without any effort.

  • Mobile radio communication via 4G/5G with included SIM service
  • Extensive, secure network coverage across very many network providers and countries
  • A transparent, attractive usage model without hidden costs

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