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Downer teams with Cisco for smart roads

Internet of Things partnership for road maintenance and rail developments


Downer Group will work with technology company Cisco to use the latter’s smart devices to help it develop safer and less congested transport systems.

Using Cisco’s internet of things (IoT) platform Cisco Kinetic, Downer hopes to find new efficiencies in its transport business – which comprises building and maintaining roads, rail and train systems.

The company has already started IoT technology to install smart streetlights and signs that give priority to trams and buses – and it hopes to further expand the data use to help it monitor the state of roads and other tracks.

New South Wales launched a trial of truck-friendly traffic lights in June. Click here to read the story

“As Downer and Cisco deploy more devices and connect more infrastructure, they are able to predict maintenance requirements and deliver better services, with fewer disruptions to the public and providing better value to customers,” the companies say.

They also hope data from Cisco’s sensors and other devices can be used to deliver new services that will help reduce congestion, as well as improving organisational productivity.

Downer’s group manager of technology and innovation Jeff Sharp says the partnership will be a critical component of Downer’s future infrastructure developments.

“By partnering, we are able to build strong working relationships that take us beyond the traditional transactional relationships, and enable us to collaborate at a whole different level,” he says.

“We are now able to work collaboratively on new solutions and use cases with Cisco, helping us to provide new and innovative solutions, taking the Downer service offerings to the digital age.”

Cisco Australia New Zealand chief technology officer Kevin Bloch says the companies will work together to bridge the gap between operational technology and information technology, using data and video analytics to help generate new solutions for clients.

“Through the deployment of mobility solutions, we will also look to help people get from one place to another easier and faster, allowing people to be more productive,” he says.

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