Smart sensors for energy efficient cities

Summary of the technology

In the context of transportation, innovative aspects come from the use of new sensors that provide richer information than current sensor technologies, as well as the novelty of the proposed applications. On the other hand, the automatic creation of thermal efficiency digital maps has not been proposed up to now. These maps will be very useful for local authorities to improve the energy efficiency of their local communities.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Description of the technology

A Spanish research group from Alcalá University has developed a smart-sensors-based technology that can be applied to improve the energy efficiency of urban environments in an holistic fashion. This technology covers areas such as Intelligent Transportation Systems and Energy Efficient Measurement applications. The group is interested in establishing commercial or technical cooperation agreements with companies involved in urban traffic management or energy distribution and generation.


The research group has developed two main new technologies. On the one hand, a set of smart sensors have been created to optimise the use of transportation systems in urban environments. Among them we remark: - Signalised roundabouts and intersections, adaptive to the current traffic status. - Adaptive traffic monitoring and management. - SmartCross: optimal traffic lights timing by pedestrian detection in pedestrian crossings. - Prioritising public transport vehicles in roundabouts and intersections. - Outdoor parking slots monitoring by a fleet of public transport vehicles applied to reduce the time needed to find a free parking slot. On the other hand, thermal imaging technology is also available to identify homes and buildings that may need improvements in their isolation installations. A specially vehicle is equipped with infrared cameras, GPS and range-based sensors. It takes thermal images of homes in winter and summer months to automatically identify buildings showing poor isolation capabilities (heat and cool losses trough poorly isolated walls, windows and roofs). These images contain information about the global positioning of each one of the buildings analysed. Thus, digital and interactive maps can be provided to the user, including specific information about thermal isolation of each of the elements analysed by the system.

Main advantages of its use

  • The competitive advantages focused on improving the energy efficiency, reducing emissions and ecological foot of cities. The main, but not unique, customers are local authorities of towns, cities and communities. This technology can be seen as an holistic system, or it can be offered in its different parts adapted to different needs.


  • - Companies involved in urban traffic management or energy distribution and generation.- Local authorities of towns, cities and communities

Additional information (attached documents)

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Environmental and Biometrics Sensors, Actuators
  • Traffic Engineering / Control Systems
  • Thermal Insulation Technology
  • Energy Distribution
  • Thermal Insulation Market
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Thermal insulation
  • energy efficiency in buildings

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

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