Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TRACKER Report Summary

Project ID: 783025


Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

TRACKER was created to meet the clear need of municipalities and citizens demanding for cost-effective solutions to obtain tempo-spatial heterogeneous measures to solve pollution and congestion issues. The current air quality monitoring systems are static, and expensive to deploy (around € 4 Mill for a large city) and maintain, therefore it is not possible to deploy larger numbers of pollution monitors across cities to give a more accurate measure of pollution trends both over time and across different areas of cities. At the same time, the state of the existing road infrastructure is degrading in many Member States because of inadequate maintenance of the road network and the lack of real time monitoring tools. TRACKER is an innovative bike sensor able to collect air quality and road surface data to be used by cities to improve the resource and infrastructure management. TRACKER´s main features: Highly sensitive (100-200 ppb); An integrated vision system that uses edge processing to detect city infrastructure anomalies such as road surface potholes; LPWAN (high power efficiency and long range); low-cost sensor platform (1 €/per device per year).
Currently, TRACKER is a functional prototype demonstrated in a relevant environment (TRL6) due to a project executed in conjunction with CISCO in which we have integrated a CO2 sensor along with the Micro- Electro-Mechanical Systems tested it in Milton Keynes and Dublin municipality. To deploy TRACKER, we need to achieve several technical and commercial objectives during the Phase 2, comprising among others the development of the road surface and particulate / gas systems, IoT narrowband system development, internal and external validations, and developing a detailed dissemination and communication plan to ensure widespread of our technology through the main stakeholders. With the aim carrying out these activities on Phase 2, we have developed a technical feasibility plan, a business plan and performed a Freedom to Operate analysis.
We plan to commercialize TRACKER by 2020. Our target market is the bicycle sharing companies, with more than 1,000 cities in 50 countries with bike sharing systems and an estimation of 350,000 shared bicycles only in Europe by 2024. Thanks to our commercialization strategy we will reach a market share of 5,86% by 2024 with a turnover of €21.5M, with a personnel increase of 20 new employees during the first 5 years of commercialization.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The objective of the Feasibility Study was to carry out a technical feasibility study, to develop a business plan and to perform a Freedom to Operate (FTO) and patentability analysis, to ensure a successful commercialization of TRACKER after the completion of the Phase II. These are the main achieved results:
Technical Feasibility Study. During the Technical Feasibility the gas and PM sensors to be tested in Phase II were selected attending to the minimum technical requires (accuracy, limit of detection, responsiveness and cost) previously established. The casing materials were also selected. Resulting from these activities, two different gas sensors, two PM sensors and two options of materials were chosen, and they will be further tested during Phase II. A camera will be added to the device during the Phase II, as it has been proofed during a pollution monitoring test that the visual information complements the air quality data, and the route and road surface information collected by the sensors. The locations to validate externally the prototype were also selected, and a technical risk analysis was performed, and we established a mitigation plan accordingly.
Business Plan. During the Feasibility Study, the target market of bike sharing and the geographical areas to commercialize TRACKER have been identified. A market research has been carried out on Smart Cities, Bike Sharing and Bicycle markets. Based on this research, a commercialization strategy has been developed and the main competitors and potential customers (bike sharing manufacturers and operators) have been identified. A communication and dissemination plan has been developed attending to the stakeholder analysis. This plan establishes the communication channels (website, publications), and the activities to carry out (demos) and a selection of events to attend in order to disseminate the project results. A risk management plan was developed, to ensure a successful market introduction. A financial plan has been developed based on an initial pricing strategy: During the 5 years scenario for the commercialization of TRACKER, See.Sense estimates that 62.000 units will be sold both in Europe and Asia, reaching up to 5,86% of market share and €21,5m of revenue by 2024.
Freedom to operate. After a Freedom to Operate and a patentability analysis have been performed to ensure that there is no patent or regulations affecting the TRACKER freedom to operate. An initial IP strategy has been set to ensure the IP protection of the innovation developed during the project.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Large scale cycling share schemes are already available worldwide and cycling is being promoted in many cities as a way of reducing congestion and improving citizen health. Millions of cycle journeys are taking place in major cities every day which can be harnessed as a mobile sensor network within cities. TRACKER is a game changing idea which main innovation is the creation of a mobile sensor network in cities using bikes as the platform for sensor deployment, providing a spatiotemporal pollution (CO, NO2) and road surface status data in real time, and generating high quality and accurate data for actionable insights:
• Heat maps of cyclist journeys: shows the pollution levels (O3, CO, NO2) and the quality of the road surface experienced by the rider. It is useful to examine popular routes, analyse pollution trends, and monitoring the condition of roads.
• Maps of location of collisions and near-misses. This allows cities to be proactive in addressing these issues by identification where infrastructure modifications can be made with low cost and big return.
• Mobility as a service: Data is accessible and can be integrated with other mobility data apps and the data can be visually represented. It contributes to citizen engagement as cyclists’ contribution of data helps them participate in designing the city.
TRACKER will 1) supplement the traditional pollution and road surface status monitoring at significantly lower cost by using LPWA technology; 2) improve the link between pollutant exposure and human health due to real-time and wider areas covered; 3) raise community’s awareness and engagement towards air quality issues; 4) allow efficient and faster infrastructure and environmental decisions helping to develop better road-maintenance and air quality policies and 5) better allocation of resources due to the efficient planning.

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