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‘Smart’ streetlight trial could provide real-time air quality data

The UK’s first ‘smart’ streetlights – which could be used to monitor pollution, create Wi-Fi hotspots and even guide driverless vehicles – have gone on trial in Chelmsford.

Smart streetlights being installed

The smart streetlights could be adapted for future needs, including providing Wi-Fi hotspots along key routes and monitoring pollution levels in real-time.

Piloted by Essex County Council, the Philips DigiStreet LED streetlights feature an extra ‘universal sensor’ socket that can be used to attach devices such as sensors to collect data on air quality, traffic movements and pedestrian numbers.

The power supply also brings future possibilities such as providing Wi-Fi hotspots along key routes and there could even be potential links to navigation for driverless cars, smart traffic signals and the ability to monitor the condition of roads and pavements.

The council added that the six-streetlight trial is likely to result in thousands of the high-tech lights rolling out across the county.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council, said: “If the trial is successful, the options for these ‘smart’ streetlights are almost limitless going forward.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.