How can the city promote carbon neutrality, how does the growing city ensure quality of services and is it possible to better integrate data driven leadership into the city’s decision making process?
These are some of the questions that the City of Tampere set out to answer with its IoT platform project. The supplier of choice was Wapice Oy, which was able to offer a ready-made platform and 20 years of experience in the Internet of Things, coupled with a passion for smarter urban solutions.
The IoT platform service provided is based on Wapice’s IoT-TICKET® product. Wapice will work as a IoT and AI partner for the City of Tampere for 10 years. The IoT platform will be launched with two use cases: outdoor lighting control and monitoring of outdoor areas in the urban environment.
The use of the platform has attracted interest in various city departments and new use cases are on the way. For example, we are developing image analytics from traffic and surveillance cameras in outdoor areas of the urban environment – allowing us to monitor traffic flows, for example, and to better understand the level of use of outdoor areas. Remote monitoring and control of the outdoor anti-icing system and smart harbour solutions are also topical use cases
Mika Heikkilä, System Manager, City of Tampere
Collect, analyse, automate
The IoT platform collects data and builds a situational picture of the city’s operations. The IoT platform can be used to combine different data sources, visualise them and user them to automate operations – for example, maintenance activities can be better targeted and predicted in the future. The situational picture solutions to be implemented will guide the city’s activities and thus have a tangible impact on the daily lives of its citizens. For example, road maintenance can be optimally planned using local weather data and sensor data.
A constantly evolving platform – in close cooperation with Wapice
The aim of the cooperation between Wapice and Tampere is for the platform to grow and develop throughout the 10-year contract period. The goal is for city employees and citizens to be actively involved in the ideation and development of new use cases – also at a very concrete level.
The city acts as a platform for experimenting and developing new solutions. Through carbon neutral solutions, the city opens up its operations, development projects and challenges to businesses and communities to create new business opportunities. The extensive use of Wapice’s IoT platform will strengthen Tampere’s position as a growing and sustainable smart city
Maarit Vehviläinen, Project Manager, City of Tampere
In addition to the IoT-TICKET® solution, the cooperation reflects Wapice’s expertise in different areas: service design methods are used in the ideation of use cases and artificial intelligence algorithms in the implementation. The scalability of the cloud solution and smooth implementation of use cases is ensured by up-to-date DevOps expertise and tools.
“The IoT platform exists primarily for the employees of the city of Tampere and the residents of Tampere. At Wapice, we want to enable innovation and the use of the IoT platform for the city urban ecosystem, and we will support its use. While the underlying technology is complex, smart city solutions must be tangible and bring real value to the city and its residents," emphasizes Jari Kuusisto from Wapice.
Leading the way in smart city development through experimentation
In 2017, the City of Tampere launched a strategic development programme to build a more sustainable and smarter urban environment. Over the years, the Smart Tampere development programme has enabled dozens of different experiments with digital technologies. Experiments have shown the benefits of smart city development, and some of them have remained in more permanent use.
“The positive results have facilitated the transition from quick experiments to the acquisition and production use of the IoT platform, which in turn will enable new ways of using the collected data in the future. At the same time, it supports the objectives of the new Mayor’s Programme to provide better services for citizens and to promote the development of new business applications. The rapid deployment of the IoT platform enabled by Wapice also supports Tampere’s position as an international pioneering city,” says Seppo Haataja, Programme Director at Business Tampere.
Tampere intends to continue to use experimental methods in the future, for which the IoT platform offers excellent conditions. The IoT project will be followed by the CityIoT2 project, which will focus on the application of data.
“A key objective of the 6Aika CityIoT 2 project is the compilation and further development of data structures and solutions, especially for IoT solutions in the urban environment. So experimental methods will continue in the future. New pilots for data exploitation and further processing are emerging through the project. The idea is that the pilots can lead to new solutions that can be commercialised in the overall service portfolio,” says Minna Kinnunen.
Wapice invests in smart city services
Wapice has been involved in Tampere’s experimentation from the start, and at the same time the company’s own smart city services have developed significantly, from pilots to finished services. For example, traffic monitoring solutions based on Wapice’s AI technology have already been seen in several cities.
“Cooperation with the City of Tampere has been a great experience so far! What is particularly interesting about smart city solutions is their potential to make a positive difference to the daily lives of all of us. At the customer interface, dialogue between different people and joint innovation is also very inspiring and produces great new solutions for the smart city segment. Wapice’s staff is also clearly interested in Tampere’s IoT platform, and the project has been closely followed within the company – after all, a significant number of our employees are also Tampere residents,” says Jari Kuusisto of Wapice.
Banner image: © City of Tampere