Bristol To Develop Smart Operations Centre Data Services

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Credit: Bristol City Council

The council wants to use data gathered by the new Smart City Operations Centre to improve urban services

Bristol City Council has said it’s preparing to begin using data collected by its newly established Smart City Operations Centre to improve areas such as traffic management.

The facility, which launched last October, integrates the city’s emergency control centre, traffic control centre and CCTV monitoring rooms, as well as handling telecare, alarm and security monitoring for the city’s inhabitants.

After a first phase that involved the facility’s initial establishment, the council has now said it’s looking for a partner to help commercialise the centre and develop services based on the data it collects.

A project involving the use of data to manage urban traffic is currently at the proof-of-concept stage, and a project involving telehealth services is also planned.

Data hub

The council said it’s currently looking to identify and priorities possible projects, as well as building prototypes and implementing schemes.

Implementation is to involve operations centre staff as well as those from partner agencies, including Bristol is Open, the University of Bristol and emergency services and clinical groups.

The centre takes in data from sources including CCTV feeds in public places and buildings, automatic number plate recognition systems, air quality sensors and telecare devices such as smoke and security alarms and panic buttons.

The data is processed through the council’s open data platform and Connecting Care electronic patient records from the area’s clinical commissioning group.

‘Smart City’

Last year Bristol overtook London as the UK’s leading “smart city”, and more recently beat out international competition to win the GSM Association’s Smart City Award at last month’s Mobile World Congress.

The award made specific mention of the Smart City Operations Centre, as well as Bristol is Open, a joint venture between the council and the University of Bristol that integrates various wired and wireless networks around the city.

The university is planning to deploy the UK’s first urban 5G network, and earlier this month demonstrated 5G technology at a weekend event that was open to the public.

The demonstrations included an augmented reality theatre, virtual reality dance and an audio-visual journey across the cosmos.

Earlier this month the West of England Combined Authority secured £5 million in government funds to trial a 5G network at tourist destinations in Bristol and Bath, with plans to test augmented reality tours via mobile devices.

Last November the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it would set up a 5G testbed in Bristol, drawing on expertise from the University of Bristol, with BT providing spectrum and Nokia handling networking and radio access equipment.

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