Digital Information using existing technology

A solution by Rich Bishop Ltd submitted to A Solution for public transport, parking accessibility and waste collection

Let's not reinvent the wheel. If we focus on some immediate process changes, using existing technology, which means there's no high maintenance costs long term; we can achieve a lot in a short time, with huge cost-effectiveness. Plus, by using off-the-shelf services, it reduces the risk of long term reliance on one bespoke software system.

(Pitched: 15/07/2018)

One Page Summary

There seems to be 3 main challenge areas that need addressing, each can be addressed in it's own right - using the best-in-class software solution for each case.

The efficiency of the public transports (mainly busses) and encouraging residents and workers to use them more.

The old adage "Build it and they will come" doesn't work in the 21st Century. Keeping information about public transport and alternatives to cars on separate provider websites doesn't help, if your target audience is looking elsewhere. Let's look at the platforms that already provide transport information - Google Maps, Moovit, Bing Maps, and many others, that can be used to advertise the availability of services, in places the potential users are already looking. In these cases we can provide timetable, and through the use of (cheap) devices on the busses, we could provide live progress information. All of this information should be collected into a single interface (ideally one that is already used) and API links used to communicate this information in and out of the system.

The availability of parking spaces

In our home city of Coventry, we already have a sensor network across the city that uses sensors on the road to identify the availability of parking spaces. This same, or if needed cheaper homegrown, sensors could easily be used in the same way across Ypsonas to monitor car parking space utilisation. Again, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, so we can integrate with existing parking apps to provide live information about parking spaces. These existing platforms often have charging mechanisms, which may help with collecting of parking fees, if required, as well.

The collection of waste including recyclable materials

There are three major elements that need to be considered here. One element is the efficient and predictable collection of waste. Using existing software to map out effective routes, and, as with busses, (cheap) devices can be used to provide live tracking of the vehicles could be enabled to provide citizens with information on where waste collection vehicles are, and what time to expect them at their property. A sub-element of the first is potentially the introduction of sensors into public garbage collection points to alert authorities when it has become full - this can be as simple as an infrared sensor to "see" if the garbage has reached a certain level - or a measurement of the weight on contents, to see if it's heavy enough to need emptying.

There's also the potential to reward citizens for better use of recycling facilities. We have previously worked on a project proposal which rewarded citizens for using public recycling facilities, by encouraging them to scan a QR code every time they visited, and linking it to a social media campaign to encourage "Recycling Selfies". As with the other solutions, this doesn't need to be complicated or expensive, and can be used with existing technologies, just used in different ways