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Smart city concept at TTÜ campus

The Internet of Things around us

In recent years, one of the more started Internet of Things (IoT) has been to categorize all devices that are in some way interconnected with the network and are able to communicate with each other without the participation of a person. The list of applications for such equipment increases day by day, starting with personalized medicine and smart home and ending with a smart city, home appliances and self-driving vehicles. The main feature of IoT devices is their low power consumption and low cost, which greatly extend their use. The key factors in the IoT devices when designing them are safety and security, which has once again become a major problem for many solutions.

Developments in the IoT and Developments at the TTÜ

TTÜ has aimed to create a wide range of opportunities for the city to develop a smart city context. It provides the opportunity to play through possible solutions, which communication solutions, how to interact with devices, and how to secure data security. To do this, you need to involve partners from a variety of areas that help create opportunities through different communication interfaces, platforms, hardware, or problem situations. It helps to create an environment that is prerequisite for possible collaborative projects, areas of research, and graduation theses in students. Examining the practical problems that can be exploited by the industry is more interesting and of greater value for all parties. It also gives participation in such projects a better preparation for the student who is on the floor teaching to the industry.

Communication solutions

TTÜ LoRaWAN Gateway

In cooperation with Telia, at the moment it is possible to test, for example, the NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1 radio networks at the TTÜ campus. This is primarily a radio-communication technology for IoT devices that uses the same base stations as our mobile phone. The main advantages are greater bandwidth and lower power consumption, which in turn again results in a lower data rate. It is also important to note that this solution allows for a two-way communication between the devices, which is particularly important for the management of the devices.

However, if it is important to have the maximum battery life and the data needs to be sent only unilaterally and relatively rarely, in cooperation with Levira, the LoRa WAN radio technology can be used at the TTÜ campus. LoRa WAN is a radio network working in license-free band, the precondition for which is the availability of a base station. Devices can be located up to 15 km away from the base station, but in the city and indoor conditions coverage is limited to a few kilometers. The specificity of the LoRa WAN network is also that the devices are sending data to Levira’s own IoT platform. If necessary, this information can be further transmitted from there for further analysis and visualization.

Software solutions

Most IoT solutions must be able to be remotely monitored and sometimes managed. This requires an IoT platform, which are more than 500 different in the world. Telia has allowed TTÜ to use the Cumulocity IoT platform, which, from its functionality and capability, covers a very large part of the basic needs. The choice of a single IoT platform helps to save time spent learning the new platform, and allows partially to reuse already created solutions. TTÜ is also interesting in cooperation with all companies  for developing  their product or service using Cumulocity. This will allow the development, in cooperation with Telia, to be commercially used at a very fast and cost-effective basis.

Smart city development

As one of the first steps in the smart city development, in autumn 2017, TTÜ started developing a self-driving vehicle, in cooperation with Silberauto and ABB, which can be found on the ISEAUTO web site (iseauto.ttu.ee)This is essentially a project where students solve various tasks related to self-driving. Each development team has its own manager responsible for ensuring that all development stages are completed in a timely manner. Since it is an open platform, we are also very open for possible cooperation with different companies to test new solutions on a self-driving car. In this connection, for example, in cooperation with Telia, in autumn 2018, it is planned to start a 5G telecommunications network test at TTÜ campus. This in turn provides the opportunity to test new solutions both in terms of virtual reality and self-driving cars. Because the speed offered by 5G is high and the latency is very small, it allows, for example, to bring some of the functionality of the self-driving vehicle to the cloud.

Coupled with self-driving cars, the Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communication continues to evolve. Bercman Technologies, in cooperation with TTÜ, develops, for example, a smart pedestrian crossing that warns the driver of a pedestrian crossing the road with a light signal. This concept can be extended by communication between the crossing and the car, where the car can directly access information about pedestrians from the pedestrian crossing and prematurely retards without intervention by the driver. In partnership with Starship, it is also planned to develop communication between Starship’s last-mile robot and self-driving vehicle. This will enable, for example, the use of similar communication between motorcycles, bicycles and all kinds of vehicles, which will help prevent unexpected collisions and related property damage and personal injuries.

Usage of single-chip radars

 

The development of sensory solutions is also in parallel. When self-driving vehicles are currently using cameras, LIDARs and far-field radars for decision-making, the so-called chip-radars, which are working in mm-wavelength radio frequency range, are starting to replace some of those functionalities. Their advantage is low cost, small size and virtually unlimited use-cases, which gives the image of the image below

Usage possibilities of single chip radars

The above projects are a rather limited list of possible developments in the concept of the smart city of TTÜ . It is highly anticipated to collaborate with companies who want to contribute to the testing, refinement and implementation of various technologies outside of TTÜ’s campus. Read more about IoT’s thematic activities in TTÜ at http://iot.ttu.ee

 

 

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