Singapore is seeking to install a smart lamp-post. In modern parlance, this project is expected to be ‘lit’. More than just illuminating the streets, the smart-lamp post project will incorporate sensor and camera fittings.
Like many public projects in Singapore, the smart lamp-post project was put out to tender. A Government-Linked Company was awarded the SGD 7.5 million contract. This was announced and confirmed over the weekend.
The smart lamp-post is part of the Government’s “Smart Nation” plan to use the latest technologies in the market. It is hoped the innovations will improve people’s lives.
Why Smart Lamp-posts are Good
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the 2017 National Day Rally, explained the idea for the smart lamp-post sparked off after the Little India riots in December 2013. He said the lack of CCTV cameras in the area led public officials to rely on footage uploaded by members of the public on social media sites.
While the level of surveillance in the area had since risen, the different surveillance cameras were not integrated. Various government agencies use individual cameras to monitor and deter actions. The hodgepodge places Singapore behind other cities. Integrated sensors will pull together all information to allow for a comprehensive decision to be made. Reaction time will also be prompter.
A Government created infographic also outlines why the smart lamp-posts are good.
Across the island, there are more than 95 000 lamp-posts. Operating many hours of the day, lamp-posts consume a lot of energy and incur high maintenance costs to replace the lamps. In turn, the Land Transport Authority aims to replace lamps with LEDs. The switch over will not only improve energy efficiency by 25% but will also increase the longevity of the lamp. LED lamps are estimated to have an average lifespan of twenty years. Prolonged lifespan equates to lower energy consumption, maintenance and manpower costs.
Admittedly, just changing the type of lamp is a smart thing to do. However, it isn’t the bulb which makes the lamp-post a futuristic project. It is the additional fittings which make the project shine.
Let There Be Light
A Remote Control and Monitoring System responds to the external weather conditions. The LED street lights can be dimmed or brightened without any human interference.
Lamp-posts will be able to sense temperature, humidity, noise, rainfall, presence of pollutants in the atmosphere, footfall and the movement of personal mobility devices.
Going forward, there are also plans to mount navigational beacons on the lamp posts. These will assist guiding autonomous vehicles once they have been given the green light to roam on Singapore’s streets.
The facial recognition software installed in the smart lamp-post has raised concerns that the project will infringe upon an individual’s privacy. Nevertheless, the infographic assures that the data collected will be analysed and used for the greater good of society.
Artificial intelligence technologies can be used to analyse video footage. Abnormalities can be detected quicker, and foreseeable undesirable circumstances can be avoided.
Promising outcomes of the smart lamp-post project include creating safer footpaths, cycling paths and roads for pedestrians. Secondly, changes in the environment both good and bad can be closely monitored real-time and according to locales. Thirdly, the camera fittings on the lamp-post will improve incident response and ultimately public safety. Over time, the data collected will help inform urban landscapers of how to rework Singapore’s urban infrastructure and roads.
In a social media announcement, the company said, “We are honoured to be given this opportunity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation transformation. We will bring expertise and experience from our global IoT deployments of smart street lighting, water and energy management systems, to work with GovTech in this project to further enhance public service delivery to citizens.”