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Sheffield: Smart City: Sensors to be installed in everyday objects

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Cabinet Member Mark Jones is shown the new system.

Controversial contractor Amey have announced plans to make Sheffield a 'smart city', with the help of thousands of sensors embedded in street-side objects.

The project will use technology implanted in highway infrastructure to communicate with workers in real-time.

The result, says Amey, will be waste bins that say they're full, drains which ask to be cleaned and trees which demand water.

The scheme is designed to reduce the number of journeys staff make each day, as the sensors will tell workers when work needs to be done.

By spring the sensors should be installed and those working at the project's control centre will have a unique view of the city.

Amey won Sheffield's biggest highways contract, a private finance initiative worth £2.2bn, in 2012. The contract, called Streets Ahead, has faced enormous opposition over the decision to remove and replace almost 20,000 street trees across Sheffield.

The Council say that the partnership has been responsible for improvements to the infrastructure of the city.

"By investing in this new initiative, our contractors will be undertaking fewer journeys whilst ensuring our streets are kept clean and our bins are emptied using a more efficient and effective approach," said Cllr Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change.

Connixen's CityOS software will form the basis of the project, which allows staff to view and respond to information from across the city in real-time.

"CityOS is 'open' and as new use cases are discovered Amey will be able to integrate new data sets to expand their service offering," said Rob Bullock of Connexin.

Alex Keene

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