New technologies don't only improve the quality of life and environmental sustainability, they also aid public administrations to make the figures add up. This is one of the reasons for the success of the Italian startup Smart-I, one of the seven winners of the first contest promoted by Enel Lab, the incubator created by the Enel Group to reward the best green technology inventions.
Selected among 215 Italian and Spanish projects, the Italian company's winning idea is called Smart-Eye, a network of optical sensors installed on street lights for public lighting, allowing to adjust light intensity and brightness according to actual traffic necessities, so that lamp posts only switch on when they detect vehicles or pedestrians.
This energy saving system can reduce by up to 49 percent lighting costs, one of municipalities' highest expenditures. Not only that, Smart-Eye can also increase road safety. Equipped with a video camera and a GPS, this device can detect weather conditions, adjusting light intensity to the level of external light and reporting abnormal or potentially dangerous situations (such as an accident or traffic congestion). When Smart-Eye is installed near schools or in critical workplaces, such as construction sites and factories, it can for instance monitor students as they enter and exit schools and report the risk of accidents at work with sound alarms to alert authorities and company security officers.
Smart-I technology brings together several qualities, which have been expanded through field-testing, thus adding a number of new features such as traffic light control and access to parking. Today the Italian startup provides several cities with Smart-Eye technology, including Brindisi and Potenza in Italy, Malaga in Spain, and Bouzios in Brazil. The device is hired to municipalities, which may use the equipment, know-how and management services in exchange for a monthly fee.
Smart-Eye is yet another piece in the mosaic of innovative technology that contributes to the creation of Smart-Cities. An area of development in which the Enel Group is committed to, both through specific projects and by supporting the growth of innovative companies such as Smart-I.