When the City of Taipei put their smart lighting requirement out to tender, industrial and embedded systems developer AAEON turned to Pelion for a solution that not only met the brief, but would also be adaptable enough to scale for the future.

City officials were looking for a reduction in energy costs, infrastructure life cycle cost and greater control over their utilities by deploying IoT nodes to 4,000 lampposts that would sense ambient light levels and attenuate output to reduce energy consumption. A stringent security specification combined with the burden of developing their own RTOS and IoT Platform led AAEON to look for partners who could reduce their time to market and offer a solution that could be easily replicated in other South Asian cities. Pelion Device Management delivered:

Repair costs to a failed light can amount to twice the cost of the light itself by the time you factor in a night shift of engineers, public liability insurance, and the disruption caused by road closures. Thankfully the insights provided by Pelion minimizes all these factors by optimizing predictive maintenance planning that pinpoints failures on a closed street before they happen, dramatically reducing repeat visits to the same location.”

Kevin Ting, Senior Manager, Design Manufacturing Service – AAEON Technology Inc.

Solution

Working with the Pelion resulted in reduced complexity and time taken to design, deploy and manage a city’s device estate. The AAEON lighting node allows Facilities Managers to control Taipei’s IoT-enabled lighting infrastructure from the Pelion Device Management platform by simply plugging into a NEMA socket controller that is found on most streetlights, enabling remote administered applications that instruct lampposts to power up, attenuate, or switch off lights during off-peak hours.

Company and City-Wide Cost Reductions

The Taipei taxpayer benefited from far more than just lower energy bills. The life cycle cost of each lamppost is reduced by relaying live insights that can reduce downtime through preventative maintenance and eradicating the bureaucracy of reporting and processing a failed light.

AAEON was quick to divest the burden of developing a secure RTOS and IoT platform and identified Arm and Pelion as their preferred choice to help their team deploy 4,000 nodes far sooner than developing their own proprietary solution.

AAEON utilized a range of Pelion and Arm-based solutions including: an Arm Cortex M-based STM32F429IEH6 chipset for the MCU, Ublox SARA-N410 NB-IoT communication modules, Arm Mbed OS, Pelion Device Management Platform and Toolchain including Secure Device Access and Mbed Compiler.

Mbed OS and Pelion provided us with a simple route to delivering the city’s digital transformation. We particularly liked how the IoT Operating System (IoT OS) can be ported across different Arm microcontrollers and different product families by using readily available libraries. Isolated security in-kernel and secure communication channels over the internet offered peace of mind for Taipei’s essential infrastructure.”

Kevin Ting

Pelion Device Management acted as the single dashboard that takes care of all ongoing city-wide management, allowing remote firmware updates to be administered from a central location and Pelion’s SDA (Secure Device Access) functionality that grants third party Facility Managers and Engineers access at a specific time with the ability to read device data without the option to corrupt or overwrite it.

A Bright Future for Taipei

Pelion’s streamlined provisioning process helped deploy an additional 25,000 IoT devices across the city throughout 2020, forming the backbone of the city’s IoT infrastructure and enabling additional features including:

Partnering with Pelion has meant we’ve reached market far sooner than expected, offered additional functionality that helps generate new revenues for AAEON that can be repeated in cities around the world”

Kevin Ting

Access Pelion Device Management free tier

Get hands-on experience of the Pelion Device Management services, starting with a development board running Mbed OS.

– Connect and manage up to 100 IoT devices, choosing from a range of connectivity and MCU options.
– Carry out 200 firmware updates per month, with robust and easy-to-define FOTA campaigns.
– Communicate with your devices using up to 300,000 CoAP transaction messages per month.