Traffic has been a problem for many years in Abbeyleix and was not solved by motorway bypass with trucks using the town to bypass tolls
Abbeyleix Tidy Towns is a mission to turn the Laois community into a smart village part of which will see the deployment of smart sensors to measure traffic, air quality and weather.
Based on Internet Of THings (IOT) technology, the committee is teaming up with UCD (WeCOunt Project), Makeport Makerspace in Portarlington and TOG Makerspace in Dublin to measure traffic.
It is one of six pilot locations around Europe where traffic sensors are being deployed. The project says WeCount aims to empower citizens to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence and knowledge around mobility in their own neighbourhoods at street level.
"The project will follow participatory citizen science methods to co-create and use innovative low cost, automated, road traffic counting sensors (i.e. Telraam) and multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms in five pilots in Madrid, Ljubljana, Dublin, Cardiff and Leuven and now also an additional add on the pilot in Abbeyleix, Co Laois," say the organisers.
The team has installed a sensor at Knockanamoe House but wants more people to get involved.
"We are looking for locals in Abbeyleix to get involved by placing sensors in upstairs windows with unimpeded views of any of the approach roads to Abbeyleix," say the organisers.
The Telraam sensors will count pedestrians, cyclists, cars and freight/heavy vehicles by using images taken by the device camera and the analysis performed by a small computer on which the device is based. The analysis simply uses the size and speed of the passing object.
Abbeyleix is also signing up for realtime air quality monitoring through a sensor that is measuring air particulates using a home made sensor. The information gathered is shared globally on https://sensor.community/en/
Realtime weather monitoring is also underway at a smart weather station in Knocknamoe House. It is measuring temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, air pressure and UK index.
The station is running only on a solar panel at the moment which means that it only collects data during daylight hours.
For more details go to https://www.abbeyleixtidytowns.net/smart-sensor-project