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Tag: iot

Smart city innovation: how IoT is helping to build our cities of the future

Business and Enterprise

Posted on July 4, 2018

4 min read

Driven by maturing Internet of Things (IoT) technology and infrastructure, Smart Cities are becoming more than a future concept; it’s now a reality. Whether it’s in the private sector with smart cabs and smart parking or in public infrastructure with traffic and waste management, there’s a big push to embrace smart city connectivity and the innovation it can enable.


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Connected infrastructure

With Australia’s population projected to double by 2075 and the average home predicted to climb from 13.7 to 30.7 connected devices by 2021, it’s critical that we build the infrastructure necessary to allow businesses, residents and tourists to seamlessly and securely connect what they want and need, as and when they want it.

Tasmania’s second-largest city, Launceston, aims to become one of Australia’s most innovative cities. In a partnership between Telstra, the University of Tasmania and Federal, State and Local government, the city has been chosen as the vanguard in Australia’s move into a connected future. To achieve its vision, it’s currently conducting trials to scope and define the future of city planning, healthcare, education and emergency management.

The backbone of these plans is the IoT infrastructure necessary to enable a smart city transformation: it’s gained access to Telstra’s Narrowband and Cat M1 IoT networks which integrate with connected devices used by homes and businesses.

Smart Services

Much of the current IoT infrastructure development is about preparing for future technology that capitalises on these specialised networks, but some of it can have a more immediate effect.

Telstra and Smart Parking have installed thousands of IoT ground sensors across several Australian council regions, including the City of Casey in Melbourne and the City of Joondalup in Perth, that monitor the use of parking spaces. This data feeds into a smartphone app that can offer precise directions to the nearest vacant spot so that drivers can stop circling around hoping to see an empty space.

There’s been an increasing rollout of smart bins, too, that notify maintenance crews when they need emptying, which allows for more efficient scheduling, a better citizen experience and fewer trucks on the road. Sensors have also been installed in parks and other places to monitor air quality, vehicle traffic flows and more. As an added bonus, the City of Joondalup has found that since its smart park technology trial the council’s internal culture has improved — with people now actively looking for digital solutions.

Data-driven planning and innovation

All this IoT infrastructure opens the door to technological innovation from the private sector. Take Cab Digital’s TaxiLive digital billboard system, for instance, which is expected to be fitted into 945 taxis Australia-wide by November 2018.

TaxiLive integrates a 32-inch digital screen into a custom-built boot, with on-board GPS data and mobile connectivity used to not only run tailored advertisements but to provide other road users with location, time and place-specific accident, traffic, weather or other alerts.

Better yet, there are future plans to share the data generated by TaxiLive-equipped cabs with roadside authorities to help with future transport and infrastructure planning. When a critical mass of taxis is reached, each generating real-time location data, we could see insights emerge about which areas of a city are under- or over-serviced by taxis at different times of the day.

The better the data gathered by sensors spread across connected cities, the better the potential optimisations and refinements to city infrastructure and services. Imagine AI-assisted reactive traffic management systems that automatically control lane openings and traffic light sequences to create the best flow of vehicles not in just one intersection but across the whole city. Or zoning regulations and urban planning decisions — not to mention local business investments — made according to insights identified in detailed real-world and predictive data analytics.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. The biggest benefit for IoT in our cities and their surrounding regions is likely still unknown as most successful initiatives so far have focused on small and well-defined business challenges.

The connected city’s greatest potential lies in the opportunities the technology creates for businesses to innovate, to dream up exciting use cases and new solutions to problems we might not even realise exist – and to actually make them a reality.

IoT podcast: Big trucks take IoT on the road

Business and Enterprise

Posted on June 13, 2018

4 min read

With sensors being installed across entire fleets and autonomous shuttle bus trials occurring across the country, the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving transport and logistics into the future.

Subscribe to the Telstra Enterprise – Behind The Mic podcast now on iTunes, Omny or your favourite podcasting app.

There are 3.5 million road freight vehicles in Australia that transport valuable goods as well as people around the country every day. Traditionally, those vehicles and their drivers would all be on their own for the duration of the trip, left to handle delays, congestion and other problems themselves.

But with IoT that’s all changing. Vehicles are now being fitted with built-in sensors and smart devices that can deliver near real-time data on the vehicle location, performance and the condition of drivers and cargo. These have significant benefits for road safety, vehicle maintenance, traffic congestion, fleet management and more.

Safer roads and drivers

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, there were 168 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks and 26 fatal crashes involving buses in Australia in 2017, for a total of 215 deaths — or around 18 percent of all road deaths that year.

Transport and logistics company Linfox is taking steps to ensure that number comes down significantly. Through a partnership with Telstra, Linfox’s entire fleet is being fitted with tablets and sensors that collect data on vehicle condition, speed, brake/accelerator usage and location, as well as driver fatigue.

These sensors allow Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and office staff to monitor the health and well-being of both the drivers and vehicles. The tablets are used to efficiently complete mandatory safety checklists before each trip, and Linfox CIO Conrad Harvey writes that they can also provide drivers with tailored alerts about safety issues or route changes through text-to-speech technology.

As more data is collected, these insights will unlock refinements to safety and maintenance procedures, and with that should come a reduction in road incidents as drivers find themselves better equipped to deal with every circumstance.

Better efficiency and productivity

Built-in tablets and data from on-board IoT sensors means better performance, faster deliveries and less congestion on the roads, too. By combining MTData’s GPS telematics and fleet management tools with the Telstra’s network, transport businesses can now monitor the location and movements of every vehicle in their fleet and identify more optimal routes for their drivers on the fly — as traffic and road conditions around them change.

This means less congestion on the roads and increased productivity not just for the transport and logistics companies but also for everyone else — since it could translate to shorter average travel times.

Predictive AI and machine learning algorithms may reveal further optimisations, such as the ideal time of day to depart for different routes and the most efficient ways to distribute cargo loads across multiple vehicles.

Preparing for autonomous and semi-autonomous transport

Meanwhile, vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology makes it possible for businesses to embrace truck platooning, wherein multiple IoT-equipped trucks drive in tight convoys, with semi-automated braking and acceleration, for better fuel efficiency. Passenger transport stands to benefit, too. Battery-powered driverless shuttle buses are currently being trialled at multiple universities and airports around the country. These are mostly low-speed vehicles that operate within a limited range to ferry passengers to and from carparks or major public transport nodes and across campuses.

Their multi-technology mix — which includes LIDAR, camera, odometry, ultrasonics, and GPS sensors — make it possible to navigate dynamic routes through complex environments such as airports and warehouses, while their compact size and agility coupled with low running costs should allow more frequent and streamlined “last mile” transport solutions.

Fully-autonomous buses and trucks and other vehicles could be on our roads within the next decade, but getting there will require many small steps such as these. Automation will first be mastered off-road — in campuses and warehouses and on receiving docks and then integrated into road traffic via incremental software improvements that offload more and more of the core driving tasks.

Telstra is helping to roll out technology to enable (and prepare for more) developments like this, with vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian communication networks that can coordinate interactions between vehicles and their environment and minimise the impact of human error.

Just imagine how much better — and safer — traffic might flow if all vehicles, traffic lights, signage, emergency services, and roads were able to talk to each other to dynamically adjust things like timing sequences and lane openings/closures and routes all with minimal human intervention. It’s not so far away as it might seem.

Tags: IoT,

IoT podcast: We explore and explain the vast IoT transforming Australia’s industries

Business and Enterprise

Posted on June 6, 2018

3 min read

Right now, we are living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our world is undergoing a stark digital transformation thanks to rapid technological advancements in automation and virtual reality.

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One of the biggest enablers of this transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT), with billions of physical devices around the world now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data, and it’s only getting bigger. In fact, Forbes predicts that by 2020, the IoT market will grow to $457 billion dollars, with 20.4 billion connected things around the world.

From driverless cars to vats of dairy milk, IoT is not about simply gathering data, but smart, connected and intelligent ways to build insights that solve real world problems. Major industries such as transport and logistics are using the power of IoT to drive change with far-reaching benefits.

We’re lifting the lid on the exciting world of IoT in our newest podcast – Telstra Enterprise Behind The Mic. Hosted by radio presenter and tech enthusiast Adam Spencer, this five part series will explore, explain and expose the truth behind the $300 billion industry. We’ll tackle the most pressing issues facing the country and how IoT is finding solutions to our everyday real business challenges.

We’ll dive into the transport industry, where IoT is being used to help improve safety for everyone in the community. In the first episode, we speak to Linfox CIO, Conrad Harvey about the company’s commitment to use IoT to improve maintenance procedures to help prevent road injuries across the country. We also speak to the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) about the future of transport, and the socio and economic benefits of self-driving cars.

We’ll examine IoT in agriculture, and we find out how IoT helped Peloris export fresh milk over 7000 kilometres from Australia to China in just 36 hours.

We’ll look at how we’re building cities of the future: where smart bins notify waste teams when bins need to be emptied; environmental monitors detect the light, temperature, noise and humidity in parks in near real-time. Or, IoT enabled parking lots help manage traffic congestion during peak periods. All of this technology exists today and could even be making the city you live in more efficient and sustainable right now.

We’ll also tackle some big issues: how we help save water with IoT sensors that measure water levels and leak detections helping farmers to save huge amounts of water – a precious resource in Australia, especially during drought season.

We are taking an active role in these in exciting advancements of IoT in Australia. We are developing and delivering world-class IoT technology, networks, capability and use cases that benefit our customers now and into the future. So tune in and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform to stay up to date on how IoT is transforming our world.

Tags: IoT,

Inspiring ideas with our 2018 Innovation Challenge

Tech and Innovation

Posted on April 23, 2018

2 min read

We’re continuing to see great innovation and breakthroughs in technology thanks to the connectivity offered by the Internet of Things (IoT). As more devices are connected, the benefits are being seen across every industry in Australia.

Each year as part of Telstra’s Innovation Challenge (TIC), we invite future and current leaders in innovation and technology to create brilliant connected solutions for real-life problems. We challenge the innovation community – universities and the general public – to form teams and develop IoT solutions that could improve our lives.

Teams will be able to leverage Telstra’s Cat M1 technology, which includes three million square kilometres of IoT coverage, combined with some of the newer moving devices to create tech solutions focused on the health and wellbeing industry.

Together with Bupa as our industry partner, we’re challenging teams to solve some of the most interesting issues facing the health and wellness industry. Teams can choose what specific areas they focus on, which could range from preventative healthcare devices, to developing on-the-job tech improvements for healthcare workers.

We provide qualifying teams with everything they’ll need to get their ideas up and running, including a development kit designed specifically for Australian innovators and developers.

The TIC has two streams of participants: one for university teams and one for the general public. The university stream has already kicked off, but it’s not too late to register for the public stream by heading over to the Telstra Innovation Challenge website for more details.

The finalists for both streams will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges on 26 May at Telstra Labs in Melbourne, to be in the running for a range of great prizes.

With thanks to the Telstra Innovation Challenge 2018 sponsors:

  • Gold sponsors: Cisco, Ericsson, Telstra Health, Microsoft
  • Silver sponsors: muru-D, Qualcomm, Tekt Industries, Little Bird Electronics, Intel

Tags: IoT, technology,

Say hello to the Verti-plane: the future of human mobility

Tech and Innovation IoT

Posted on April 10, 2018

3 min read

We took to the skies in Canberra in partnership with one of our muru-D SYD5 startups, AMSL Aero, to demonstrate its world-leading autonomous aircraft technology.

Imagine a morning commute with no traffic. Take that another step and imagine a morning commute where you can travel all over the city with no delays, producing no emissions, and without you needing to drive. That future may be closer than you might think, and the tech is being built right here in Australia.

Autonomous air flight

A member of our muru-D SYD5 cohort, AMSL Aero was founded in June 2017 by Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon with the mission to change the way the world travels by providing airborne transport that is safe, fast, affordable, easy to use and good for the environment.

They are doing this by building a world-leading Verti-plane, which is an aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter but flies fast and efficiently like a plane. The team visited Canberra today to demonstrate a 1/5 scale prototype of their aircraft.

The Verti-plane uses patented technology that tilts the two wings to enable vertical flight for take-off and landing, and horizontal flight for fast (300km/hr) cruising flight. It flies autonomously and is electric, which means it is far safer than helicopters and is also quiet and emissions-free.

The electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft market is forecasted by some to exceed the value of the current USD $27 billion global helicopter market by 2032[1].

AMSL Aero co-founder Andrew Moore started out his career as an aeronautical engineer in the Australian Navy. He has over 20 years of experience in leading the design and build of helicopters and aircraft, and is an avid pilot himself following in the footsteps of his father who was also a naval pilot.

5G and IoT

5G will be essential to support the increase in IoT connected devices over the next decade, bringing greater bandwidth and also greater security and reliability with features designed for communications and control. Telstra will be able to offer the capability to support the command and control of autonomous vehicles so that the low altitude airspace can be more safely managed for aerial people carriers such as the Verti-plane.

Telstra’s muru-D Program

Telstra’s startup accelerator muru-D offers a six-month program for exceptional founders who are solving high impact, global problems. As part of the program, they receive seed capital investment and gain access to a global network of mentors, alumni, investors, and partners. Over 100 companies have graduated from one of muru-D’s five programs, and more than 15 of these having raised $1 million or more in funding so far.

[1] Source: IDTechEx Manned Electric Aircraft 2018-2028

Tags: 5g, innovation, IoT, Muru-D,