SAGE delivered a cloud-managed, solar-powered school crossing for a council to monitor vehicle speed and gain data to enhance road and pedestrian safety.
SAGE designed and installed an Australian-first cloud-managed solar-powered school crossing that monitors vehicle speed for a local South Australian council, providing a data-driven system to enhance road and pedestrian safety.
IoT, CMMS, Addinsight, remote monitoring.
City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters, South Australia
The Norwood Payneham and St Peters (NPSP) Council is the local government body responsible for the City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters in South Australia.
Serving a population of more than 37,000, the NPSP Council have several smart projects, programs and initiatives in action to support their overarching Smart City Plan, which aims to use high-value smart technology and innovation to enhance sustainability, vibrancy, and liveability of the city.
As part of this plan, the NPSP Council partnered with SAGE Automation for an Australian-first smart school crossing, connected to a Centralised Monitoring and Management System (CMMS) with Addinsight integration, to collect high-quality data to inform better transport planning decisions and improve road and pedestrian safety.
In cooperation with the NPSP Council, SAGE designed a smart school crossing outside of St Joseph’s Memorial School on William Street, Norwood, providing enhanced safety for students in and out of school hours and adding a layer of analytics for the council.
The smart school crossing in Norwood is providing a safer way for students and residents to cross the road.
The smart school crossing utilises a fusion of installed telemetry hardware to provide real-time metrics on vehicle flow through the crossing and information on the state of the system. Communicating with SAGE Edge – SAGE’s propriety IoT hardware – real-time information is transmitted back to a custom-built CMMS, enabling in-depth data analysis.
SAGE Edge is an IoT capture device that interfaces with a wide variety of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and IoT field devices, which, when combined with CMMS integration allows for remote monitoring, diagnostics, software configuration, field software updates, and data interrogation.
The CMMS uses Ignition SCADA to provide a user-friendly browser-based interface, enabling the remote configuration and management of SAGE Edge via highly customisable dashboards.
Crossing overview page for the Norwood Crossing.
The SAGE-built CMMS has enabled the NPSP Council to access historical data, which over a short period of time, can inform decisions around how best to operate the crossing, how effective the crossing is at reducing vehicle speed, and if more action should be taken to reduce the speed of vehicles.
Map view showing the current state of the Norwood crossing.
The smart school crossing utilises the SAGE Edge and a connected PLC to control the crossing lights using a fully customisable calendar system within the CMMS. Users can configure calendar activation schedules to create plans for all crossings managed by the council, complete with template plans to make calendar design easier.
Each calendar is made up of modular components including holidays, weekly plans, and once-off overrides, enabling a series of calendars with marginal differences to be created for each crossing without having to change the common requirements.
The schedule creation page enables simplistic scheduling of the smart school zone.
SAGE CMMS includes a detailed breakdown of the direction, volume and speed of vehicles moving through the intersection, thanks to an on-site radar integrated into the system. The active period of the lights and the speed of vehicles is used to provide a visual confirmation of whether the activation of the crossing impacts the aggregate speed. Total counts of the eastbound and westbound traffic are visible via the CMMS dashboard (see picture below) along with a bar chart showing the real-time count of the number of vehicles moving at a specific speed.
Vehicle count and speed breakdown dashboard for the William Street school crossing.
A downloadable evidentiary report (pictured below) is also available with additional information for the vehicle throughput showing the vehicle count in each direction, the average speed, the lamp state, and the number of non-compliant vehicles. This detection history is stored in a database with records available up until the previous year, allowing councils to track the real-time flow – providing constant feedback on the impact of the crossing on the community – but also request vehicle metrics for any specific day.
A downloadable evidentiary report containing historic readings from the William Street school crossing.
To reduce installation costs, a solar charger and panel were installed to isolate the system from the surrounding power grid. Feedback for the current-voltage and current levels of the system is provided via the CMMS to ensure that the power drawn by the system does not exceed that supplied by the solar charger.
The installed sign controller acts as a 4G gateway to ensure that the system can communicate remotely with minimal installation effort. Recognising that the use of the cellular network has the potential for issues to arise in the event of an outage; the system is designed to retain a local record of any system fault or state change to ensure that, even when offline, the crossing activates and operates as configured.
As an additional safeguard, a dual control system was developed as a failsafe to ensure that cellular health would not limit the operation and access to the crossing. To achieve this, in parallel with the CMMS, a local tool was developed for offline diagnosis and monitoring, ensuring that users can monitor and control the system without internet access, so the lamps always remain active and operational when needed.
SAGE Edge is an industry-leading technology that can be coupled with additional devices or data sources to deliver valuable insights to the CMMS.
The utilisation of SAGE Edge opens the possibility of expansion for what can be achieved beyond crossing control and monitoring. A universal IoT data capture station, SAGE Edge can be utilised for smart city data collection, transport travel time data, and general IoT data management.
Most effective when used as part of a wider IoT network, the wireless capture station monitors WiFi, Bluetooth, and undiscoverable Bluetooth devices as they travel through the environment, providing councils with an understanding of how traffic flows not just through the crossing but the wider community. Using non-invasive technology, SAGE Edge collects data and integrates it with existing application programming interfaces (APIs) to provide detailed traffic analytics at a reasonable cost.
Integration with Addinsight allowed for the NPSP Council to visualise the flow of traffic between capture stations and gain valuable traffic intelligence. The software solution can generate travel time predictions using a combination of live and historical readings to measure the average travel time of vehicles between stations.
Addinsight interface including travel time and congestion analysis.
Addinsight enables the client to identify problems in real-time thanks to comparative analyses of expected travel times with reported travel times. The traffic intelligence system can identify unusual congestion points across the network, highlighting this clearly for the user. This ability to identify unusual and recurring congestion provides a capacity beyond what can be observed when using a single radar at an isolated crossing site.
The smart school crossing improves road safety by focusing on delivering a more versatile and adaptive traffic management solution.
The cloud managed, solar-powered smart school crossing enables:
• Measurement of incoming and outgoing traffic speed (bidirectional radar)
• The ability to change the operational aspects of crossing signals
• Analysis of pedestrian movements (anonymised Bluetooth and WiFi detectors).
Providing fully customisable lamp activation plans, the system allows councils to control and monitor fault alarms when the system is active without having to directly interact with any hardware. The integration of a radar unit with the school crossing allows for the monitoring of traffic movement and vehicle speed through the school zone.
Incorporating a SAGE Edge device and CMMS, councils will be able to monitor the operation of the crossing for maintenance and faults and will have access to real-time data from the school zone, supporting data-driven decisions around when the sign should be active, how effective the crossing is at reducing vehicle speed, and if more action should be taken to reduce the speed of vehicles.
The infrastructure that has been installed for the school crossing enables future-focused smart city solutions to integrate into a single web-based platform for NPSP Council’s broader strategic outcomes and decision-making. Data indicates that traffic speeds are slowing during the school drop-off and pick-up periods since the installation of the crossing.
• Integration of easy-to-manage remote activation plans
• Real-time feedback on the operation and system health
• Analysis of vehicle speed and traffic direction and volume
• Ability to scale for an unlimited number of crossings
• Map overview for monitoring the state of all sites as a fleet.