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IoT in Sutton and Kingston: Improving Active Travel in The Area

2 min

c. Vivacity labs

After Sutton and Kingston Councils announce the use of Internet of Things (IoT) to improve active travel and improve safety, Quadrant Transport sits down with David Grasty, to discuss the use of the data and how sensors improve the lives of commuters and pedestrians.

The sensors used to collect the data on the roads, footpaths and cycle infrastructure are an improvement on the traditional rubber sensors currently installed. The sensors do not collect personal data, so pedestrians travel patterns cannot be identified. 

Speaking to Quadrant Transport, David Grasty said: “We are putting the sensors out in high traffic and high footfall areas. This is to give us data on how busy traffic is around our town centres so that we can see how patterns of people coming into the town centre are changing and hopefully that will enable us to create better policies and handle the town centre infrastructure better.” 

The key is to make the most of space

By making the most of the space in the city, the infrastructure changes that can come from this Innovate project will help improve active travel routes. Its ultimate goal is to accommodate more walking and cycling. 

Advances in the technology, both in the sensors and the IoT allows for better infrastructure changes David explained. He added: “The sensors we have at the moment beats the traditional rubber strip in that we have a categorisation of the vehicle. It gives us the ability to see journey destination as well as the journey time.” 

“It gives us a whole wealth of data that we hope will enable us to make better design decisions in terms of highways and pedestrian spaces.” 

With the UK entering and exiting multiple lockdowns, these sensors can also help curb the spread of the Coronavirus. “It is giving us the proximity of pedestrians to each other. So, it gives us a proxy of social distancing,” David told Quadrant Transport.  

It gives us a whole wealth of data that we hope will enable us to make better design decisions in terms of highways and pedestrian spaces

David rounded up by explaining the benefits of advancements in technology for this type of surveying: “The difference between a survey type approach and the sensors is we can now get the same data every couple of minutes, instead of every 3 years, which is going to be tremendously insightful and should significantly enhance our decision-making abilities.”

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