The Scottish Government has launched its plans to establish a national IoT network in a collaborative framework between the public and private sectors. To be the latest in the UK. The latest initiatives in this area included an IoT experiment in the country's largest national parks, It is Cairngorm Park located between the Scottish Highlands, This is to improve the visitor experience and protect the environment at the same time.
The Internet today is not limited to connecting people together, Rather, it connects systems, devices and applications, This is called the Internet of Things, Technology that can bring about a huge radical change involving all sectors, From health to housing to public services and others. Perhaps the challenges that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic have made it clear to the world the importance of harnessing modern technologies to serve societies, including Internet of Things applications. Especially as the world has recently moved towards preparing to adapt to the so-called "new normal".
In return for the harsh conditions imposed by it such as social distancing and home quarantine, The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a widespread trend of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and spending time in beaches and parks. This has imposed the need to monitor natural areas in smarter and more innovative ways in order to protect and preserve them, Besides organizing these activities and facilitating tourism in a sustainable manner. In addition, The Scottish Government realised that once restrictions began to ease, they would have to monitor how well people were adhering to the instructions. Monitor their gatherings to intervene when needed.
Therefore, The government has decided to allocate a budget of £6 million to establish the Internet of Things, To provide companies and organizations with the necessary infrastructure to take advantage of smart sensor applications. To launch the project, The management of Cairngorm National Park, which hosted the project, collaborated with a number of private sector partners who are providers of IoT services and smart solutions in the UK.
This infrastructure is based on the "long-range and low-power" wireless communication network (LoRaWAN), These networks facilitate the exchange of information between connected devices (such as sensors) and application servers, and transport it over long distances using minimal power, This makes it longer lasting than other networks. Across these features, This network enables applications and services to collect and transmit data from devices without the need for cellular connection, wireless internet or even human intervention, This achieves an effective integration of the physical and digital worlds.
The project also includes enriching the smart cities experience with lighting, parking, environmental monitoring, transportation services and other smart technologies, For example, smart containers can be used to inform local authorities of the need to empty them in a way that makes it more efficient to use waste carts.
Sensors will be distributed around the areas of Aviemore and Kieringorm to monitor footsteps and parking occupancy. It will connect to the Scottish Internet of Things network via gateways built and distributed over several buildings in the region.
Sensors collect real-time data on visitor numbers, movement, density and distribution, and shares their data automatically, It is accompanied by a management platform that provides tools for analysis and reporting, It allows setting up special alerts while making it easier to visualize data.
The team is currently working on the purchase of road and vehicle meters in cooperation with local partners, and these meters work according to a technology that allows data collection while maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of individuals. In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy practices. By employing technology that protects the privacy of individuals and their data, The team avoided one of the biggest potential challenges for the project, which is still in its early stages.
By adopting IoT as the main framework, Supervisors can monitor the park and get a clear picture of footfall levels, road and parking usage to manage them effectively, protect the surrounding environment, reduce congestion and pressure, and direct drivers to less crowded areas.
Sensors are also useful in reducing risk and operational cost, It helps to make quick and practical decisions thanks to real-time data analysis. In addition The network provides easy communication services to all parties and institutions in urban and rural areas, It covers more than 30% of Scottish companies. Giving nearly 1.4 million people reliable and easy access to the Internet of Things.
Once Scotland has established its own IoT network, Entities and institutions anywhere in the country will be able to benefit from smart technologies to access data, Which constitute the first factor in designing services, environments and projects in line with rapidly changing lifestyles. Local authorities will also be able to gain deep insights into social and economic challenges. As for the smart city experience, They can have great impacts such as reducing carbon emissions and saving energy.
Later The team will make the network available for use by local business owners to adopt sensors to collect data and know their key findings to assess their efficiency, productivity and performance development.