The Smart Shelter


The Smart Shelter team

Growing congestion, rising vehicle running costs and proactive council investment in infrastructure has seen our city public transport users re-think how they move. People are expecting more and the demand for a connected city is no longer an aspiration but an expectation.

Recognising the opportunity to support local government with these challenges, a Downer-led consortium has developed the smart bus shelter concept. Formed through the technology eco-system of ng Connect the companies joined forces to develop an end-to-end infrastructure solution.

Working in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, Solta, Designbrand, Samsung, Schneider Electric and Chorus, Downer has taken a gear rack and integrated it into a modular bus shelter, whilst adding an interactive touch screen that surfaces a clever user interface (UI).

The UI brings the bus shelter to life for the public transport user, offering a journey planner, local news and weather, places of interest, ticketing, directed advertising and even a game. There is also the opportunity to advertise and to direct council material to specific locations.

The real value, however, is in the gear rack. By bringing fibre and power to the shelter and using smart metering we can offer valuable real estate to telcos wishing to locate 4 and 5G small cells. We can then use these shelters as smart city hubs and bring services to the community such as Wi-Fi, EV charging and iBeacon.

In a world that is increasingly connected, this innovation provides a compelling example of how street furniture and city infrastructure can become Smart City connectivity hubs. It opens up a unique
opportunity to transform traditional cost demanding assets to valuable revenue generating assets. 

In addition to a live prototype, the consortium has built a full-sized fibre-connected shelter inside the Chorus Co-Innovation Lab. 

The Smart Shelter facts and figures 

  • Brings bus shelters to life for users of public transport and generates revenue through valuable “real estate” for telcos (e.g. to locate 4 and 5G cells), advertisers, local authorities etc
  • An interactive smart screen offers a journey planner, local news and weather, places of interest, ticketing information, advertising opportunities, Wi-Fi, EV charging etc 
  • A full sized prototype has been developed in Auckland with Downer as the lead systems integrator and project manager working with Alcatel-Lucent, Chorus, Metshelter, Solta, Samsung 
  • Transforms old fashioned street furniture to a Smart City connectivity hub

For more information, watch the Smart Shelter video here.

Pictured above: The live prototype with representatives from the consortium. Pictured left to right: Mark Povey (Solta), Murray Robertson (Downer), Jurgen Brand (Designbrand/ Metshelter), Shaun Graham (Alcatel-Lucent), Paul Philip-Wright (Alcatel-Lucent), Alan Murch (Alcatel-Lucent), Roselle O’Brien (Downer).

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