How can big data and the Internet of Things improve daily life and public services in a smart city? Such is the purpose of the bIoTope European research project on the collection and processing of field data in which the Brussels-Capital Region is taking part. Three applications are being reviewed: safety in the vicinity of schools, bicycle travel and the mobility of emergency vehicles.
Big data and the Internet of Things
Sensors are the eyes and ears of a smart city, and much else. When installed in cities, for instance, they enable public lighting to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the moment or to ensure that waste bins are emptied only when they are full: when connected together or to servers capable of storing data they make up the Internet of Things (IoT), a network central to the operation of a smart city.
The IoT causes a huge mass of data to be circulated which are known as big data and which are of use only when they are processed and handled by applications, algorithms, etc., i.e. when information is created from this information. This is precisely the purpose of the European research programme bIoTope (building an Internet of Things OPen innovation ecosystem for connected smart objects): to connect the sensor networks of smart cities.
3 projects by the Brussels Region for the implementation of the IoT in a smart city
The bIoTope projects will be implemented in the Brussels-Capital Region as well as in two other internationally recognised smart cities: Helsinki and Greater Lyon. In concrete terms, the Brussels-Capital Region will be receiving a subsidy of 575,000 euros for the study and development of three IoT applications in smart cities:
- ensuring safety in the vicinity of schools by using data from wi-fi connections, smartphones and traffic flows;
- promoting safe cycling and saving cyclists time by collecting big data on cyclists using counters on cycle tracks;
- improving the circulation of emergency vehicles (fire engines, ambulances, etc.) by using smart data to guide them to uncongested routes.
The three Brussels projects involve three players in the smartcity.brussels strategy: the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC), IRISnet and Bruxelles Mobilité/Brussel Mobiliteit. Like the other bIoTope initiatives, they are financed by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation