September 1, 2016
When this project is implemented on the Diwan Bahadur (DB) Road in Coimbatore, it will change the way garbage is collected from various bins in the area. The project also hopes to solve the parking trouble by flashing live availability of parking space on the stretch. Plus, the road will be under 24/7 surveillance, thereby reducing crimes. This is, in a nutshell, the Smart Pole Project that is the brainchild of Coimbatore-based Antony Deepak.
An entrepreneur by profession, Antony participated in the ‘Make Your City Smart’ contest that was hosted by the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC). His Smart Pole project was declared the third best, and it will be implemented on this stretch.
As per Antony’s project, the entire stretch of DB Road will be fitted with Smart Poles at regular intervals. Each Smart Pole will be fitted with a second-hand smartphone, which would otherwise have found its way to the trash can, to capture images.
Each Smart Pole will have the ability to multitask.
To begin with, the Smart Pole will capture and send images of the CCMC dustbins. It will be used to capture and send live images of the stretch of road. This, its creator is hoping, will solve the parking woes that most of the two- and four-wheeler users face on the stretch. The Smart Pole will double up as surveillance camera too. Antony says that the Smart Pole will be capable of capturing and recording images.
Currently, garbage is collected from bins by following a fixed schedule, irrespective of whether they are overflowing or are empty. This results in unnecessary costs, manpower, and wear and tear of the roads and collection vehicles. By physically plotting the location of waste generators, and using analytic tools such as cluster analysis, the city can manage the way garbage is being collected.
Using smart ultrasonic technology combined with GSM communication technologies ensures regular reporting of measured fill levels and sensor data, via mobile communication network. Robust ultrasonic sensor will detect fill level regardless of waste type. This way, the bins that are filled to their capacity with garbage will be identified.
CCMC garbage collection vehicles will be sent to collect garbage from these identified bins per se. Thus, the routes for waste collection will be optimized, reducing gas emissions and noise levels. Bin fill level sensors provide remedies for the budget concerns by reducing waste collection cost up to 50 percent when used together with a fill-level monitoring platform. This is possible because fewer collections mean less money spent on driver hours, fuel, and truck maintenance.
“Each bin will be fitted with a sensor. The sensors (at all the bins) are, in turn, linked to a hardware that is inbuilt in the Smart Pole. The Smart Pole is connected to a cloud. Officers of the CCMC can access this cloud either through a mobile app on their Smartphone or on their desktop or laptop,” Antony says.
CCMC officers can access information like the status of garbage in each of the bins, and the area that surrounds the bins. “Bins that are not filled to their capacity with garbage can be skipped by the CCMC trucks that are responsible for garbage collection. This will save the trucks time and fuel too,” Antony says.
Thus, the Smart Pole project will revolutionise the way garbage is collected on this stretch.
Smart Parking is what the Smart Pole is also capable of. Smart parking pilot programmes are now being implemented in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Beijing, Shanghai, São Paulo, and the Netherlands. It involves using low-cost sensors, real-time data collection, and mobile-phone-enabled platform that allow people to very accurately predict where they will likely find a parking spot for their two- and four-wheelers. Smart parking can significantly contribute to reduce transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions.
Lastly, this Smart Pole can also double up as surveillance cameras. Low cost technology, using second-hand Smartphone with Android application, is used to capture image frames and upload them to a server in defined intervals, just as security camera for surveillance does.
“Every two years we buy new Smartphone and leave the old one in our closets. IDC estimated that more than 280 million working Smartphones were replaced without being recycled last year. This way, every unused Smartphone will also find a usage,” Antony says.
Antony however admits that he is not sure of the cost involved in implementing this project.