Infineon of Neubiberg, Germany and eluminocity GmbH of Munich have teamed up to offer a secure, Internet of Things (IoT) connected streetlight. According to the companies, the smart streetlight offers a scalable sensor hub, data processing, and connectivity. While the streetlight leverages existing cellular infrastructure, it can also support the evolution towards 5G deployment.
If trends progress as expected, urbanization will greatly increase with a projection of nearly 70 percent of humankind living in urban areas by 2050. Urban planners must anticipate such demographic changes because of their tremendous impact on a city’s infrastructure, driving, and energy consumption requirements. The companies jointly developed the intelligent streetlight to tackle these issues.
The firms contend that the new streetlight can help save energy and enable a connected infrastructure that can serve as the backbone for the city of the future.
“Semiconductors are the key to making the urban infrastructure intelligent. 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.”
“The behavior and needs of city dwellers will rapidly advance due to digitization. For this reason, our hard- and software updates make the streetlight future-proof,” added Sebastian Jagsch, CEO and founder of eluminocity. “The intelligent streetlight can accommodate new sensors as well as new components for mobile communications. This enables us to constantly develop new applications to tackle upcoming demands. We enhance comfort, safety, security, and efficiency in public spaces, thus making whole cities future-proof.”
Securely connected for energy saving
Infineon provided decades of expertise in the field of sensors, power management chips, and security solutions. eluminocity added its know-how in system integration, data analysis, and application solutions.
Other partners on the project deliver connectivity, computing performance, and cloud solutions.
The companies have protected the intelligent streetlight against unauthorized access from the cloud down to individual fixtures. Also, they engineered updatable hardware and software. This ability to update can allow cities to keep up with technology and add newly devised IoT applications
Potential Savings on Electricity Alone
Using LEDs for street lighting saves a considerable percentage of electricity. Around 19 percent of the world’s electricity consumption results from lighting, and professional (non-consumer) applications such as street lighting use about 80 percent of lighting. About nine million of the so-called light points installed in Germany consume about 4,000 GWh of electricity annually. Therefore, replacing streetlights with LEDs could save more than half of that electricity, which translates to enough to supply about 630,000 two-person households for an entire year.
Some of the streetlights in residential areas will be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles. This availability of charging stations for electric vehicles will be a key to increasing their adoption. A study estimated that 37 percent of Germans would be more enthusiastic about “electromobility” (using electric vehicles) if charging stations were more widely available.
Parking Spot Detection
Another potential application that the companies envision is equipping the streetlight with parking-spot detection sensors and a system that would feed the information about parking space availability to the cloud. Infineon and eluminocity suggest that parking spot detection help simplify the search for parking lots, which experts estimate is responsible for one out of three vehicles moving around cities.
Streetlights Can Adapt to Weather and Environmental Conditions
Integrated radar sensors can enable the intelligent streetlight to adapt to environmental conditions. For example, in bad weather or when cars or pedestrians are approaching, the streetlight can increase its brightness. In addition to improving comfort for people who use the road, this brightness adaptability also enhances their safety.
As with other sensor data, data from the radar system is collected anonymously and forwarded to the cloud, with secure processing and end-to-end encryption. Infineon and eluminocity say that this security facilitates various services that can be provided in app form.
Options for Additional Sensing Capabilities
The streetlight also has an option to be equipped with additional sensors that analyze the environment. Integrated gas sensors can measure air quality and report when defined limits are exceeded through a cloud-connected municipal control center. This capability would, for example, let joggers know when and where to expect the best air quality in the city.
The addition of microphones supports detection of particular audio patterns, for the automatic reporting of incidents such as car accidents and even gunshots to the nearest police station.
High-frequency components may also let the streetlight serve as a base station for communications based on the 5G mobile radio standard. The 5G standard requires more transmission and receiving units, but it enables transmission speeds 100 times faster than 4G and use less electricity.
Additional information is available at www.infineon.com/smart-streetlighting.