Automation Driven for Smarter Cities

Celso Mauricio - Data & Analytics Lead – Schréder Hyperion
Celso Mauricio
Data & Analytics Lead – Schréder Hyperion

We live in a digital age. In the past, city planners looked for patterns, made guesses and relied on intuition, but today no decision is made without clear data. Urban centres worldwide have been switching to LED lighting for decades now, and the next step is to invest in a Central Management System (CMS). It connects luminaires, poles and other parts of the street lighting hardware that are fitted with sensors, enabling decisions to be made based on real-time data.

Automating decisions based on these insights means that cities can save energy, prevent disruptions and improve living conditions. Street lights adjust their brightness according to real-time traffic and weather conditions, conserving energy while ensuring safety. They can even autonomously detect failures, enabling swift intervention to keep the city moving.   
By choosing the right CMS, city authorities can reap the full benefits of automation: precise energy allocation and minimal human intervention create an urban ecosystem that thrives on efficiency and minimises environmental impact. 

At Schréder, we created Schréder EXEDRA to be Simple, Modular, Automation-driven, Resilient and Trustable - as every option on the market should be. In this blog, we consider why Automation matters for cities looking to go smart.

Smart lighting, smart outcomes

Lighting systems are the ideal asset to provide smart services: they are already connected to the electricity grid, do not require installation, and are a familiar part of street furniture. Once systems and sensors are connected, data offers cities unprecedented efficiency and progress. Schréder EXEDRA enables users to streamline urban activities, optimise resource allocation and minimise maintenance.

Schréder EXEDRA can be connected to existing assets, providing in-depth knowledge about existing anomalies. It can also identify frequent sequences of anomalies. System owners can solve long-running issues, get a better vision of possible future anomalies, and ensure that systems run smoothly.  

If data is the raw material, automation is the structure that creates seamless processes to improve urban spaces. Automation is the art of enabling technology to perform tasks autonomously. It frees up human resources for strategic thinking, fostering innovation and efficiency in urban systems. This is done through Automation Engines that orchestrate tasks without human intervention, drawing inspiration from data-driven insights.

Schréder EXEDRA automates procedures and interventions to streamline operations in smart cities

Schréder EXEDRA runs on Microsoft Azure ML, a service that enables data scientists and developers to build and deploy high-quality machine learning models with confidence. The right machine learning operations can complement existing tools, facilitating the fusion of data-driven intelligence and automation. HTTP endpoints expose the functionality, demonstrating how advanced data insights and automation come together to deliver benefits for citizens and residents alike.

Bad Hersfeld, Good Decisions – Thanks to Automation 

The German spa town of Bad Hersfeld, renowned for its annual festival, wanted a truly smart lighting upgrade. They worked with high-tech partners to develop a system that could adapt the light levels according to traffic density, adjust the colour temperature based on the time of day and control the light distribution according to the weather.   
The town had already deployed Schréder EXEDRA in the Stiftsruine area and in 2021 set-up a pilot project with 77 IZYLUM and 88 FLEXIA FG Midi street lights in two different districts. These luminaires are also equipped with sensors that record and collect data regarding the weather, traffic, speed and environment which is sent to a platform developed by our partner Urban Lighting Innovations GmbH [ui!]. The UrbanPulse platform then analyses the data and shares it with other applications.

Bad Hersfeld is using data collected by Schréder EXEDRA to automate lighting that adapts to traffic and weather, ultimately reducing energy costs and carbon emissions

As a result, lighting in these areas is adapted to real-time traffic and road use. This maximises safety for pedestrians and drivers during rush hour traffic and saves energy when there is very little or no movement. Thanks to the automation power of Schréder EXEDRA, the city has reduced its energy consumption by more than 70%, contributing to sustainability goals and saving money.

The system is pioneering and a really critical step towards climate neutrality, which the town has set as an objective for 2035. 

Thomas Fehling
Mayor - Bad Hersfeld (2010 - 2022)

Data and Automation: A World of Possibilities

An automation is configured to perform an action (or a set of actions) according to some pre-defined conditions. Schréder EXEDRA automations can detect and solve specific issues such as electric cabinet faults, commissioning commands that are no loner working, temperature and GPS location issues and incorrect voltages. They can all be resolved remotely, without manual intervention. 

Likewise, the CMS allows system owners to set alarms, reports, work orders and interface with third-party systems. The system can automatically detect a segment failure by consolidating lost node alarms, looking at switch-off time in the morning, and considering the position of the assets along the power cable. If a segment failure is detected, the system then sends an alarm vis SMS or e-mail, synchronises the CMS alarms with the customer’s asset management system, and creates a ticket in the customer’s system. All this without any employees needing to touch a thing.

Automation: the future of smart cities? 

Schréder EXEDRA takes full advantage of the potential of data, machine learning and automation. As the synergy between data insights and automation unfolds, cities are embracing a future characterised by strategic, long-term planning to elevate the quality of life and shape a city that evolves with its people.  

Switching to LED lighting offers 70% energy savings compared to traditional discharge lamps, and good CMS reduces the consumption of LED luminaires by a further 30% on average. As cities strive to become net zero, these energy savings cannot be left on the table, and automation is key to achieving them.  

Our Shared Vision: Empowering Cities for Tomorrow

Schréder EXEDRA can be the foundation of a more sustainable urban metamorphosis. Data is being meticulously forged into a conduit of innovation, intertwined with automation to make cities better, smoother and more sustainable. Our Schréder sales teams can look at lighting networks and a CMS to make this happen for your community. 
At the intersection of data, automation, and light there is a future where cities thrive, driven by the synergy of innovation, sustainability, and intelligent forecasting. Systems using AI and automation harness the power of data to optimise operations, improve services, enhance sustainability and make data-driven decisions. As a result, the complex challenges of the modern world can be addressed in a smarter, more reliable and more efficient way.

To learn more, read our white paper

About the writer
Since graduating with a degree in computer engineering, Celso has gained solid experience in software development. He joined Schréder Hyperion in 2019, where he brings his expertise and eye for detail to develop processes, operations and data collection procedures in our Schréder EXEDRA platform. He helps our customers automate interventions to streamline operations and gain valuable data insights to make the right decisions to improve our cities.

Connect with Celso on LinkedIn