Mobility in a Smart City: IoT in a fragmented scenario

There is a newly elected local government in a City and they have a clear goal: improve the traffic. To do so, they have decided to start gathering more metrics and information that help them to study behaviours, calculate statistics and, consequently, make decisions oriented to optimizing their public transportation network.

On one hand, the City Government will adapt City’s current fleet of public buses to embed intelligent devices that will gather metrics such as GPS position, speed, fuel consumption, etc. On the other hand, they will buy a new bicycle model for the City’s public electric bike-sharing service that will collect similar metrics.

fragmentationremote updatesecurity policiesdeployment

One of the initiatives the City Government will set up will be to install an application in each smart device (in buses and bikes) that reports if the vehicle surpasses the maximum legal speed at any moment. The fleet of public buses is quite heterogeneous (different models, different power sources – fuel, electricity… -, etc.) so the City Government needs 2 different models of smart devices to adapt their entire fleet. The new bike model also has a different smart device so a total of 3 different smart devices will be deployed.


Without Barbara, the City Government would have to hire 3 teams of engineers to develop that application for each smart device. However, with all smart devices running Barbara OS, the City Government will only need 1 team of engineers to develop the application over Barbara OS, that will run on all 3 different smart device, saving up to 66% of the development costs.


One day, an important security breach is discovered and publicly announced. It affects a huge range of devices, including the 3 models deployed in the City’s buses and bikes. The City Government needs to install an updated version of their smart devices on them, to patch that vulnerability


Without Barbara, the City Government would need to handle 3 different updating packages and either send a huge team of engineers to locally upgrade each device onsite or risk to a remote update process of each device; in any case, both situations would imply several days. With Barbara, the City Government will be able to securely handle the remote upgrade of all devices deployed, with a fail-proof revert mechanism, in just 1 day.


Another initiative that the City Government will set up is a security measure against vandalism that will consist of receiving an alert if one bike is stolen.


Barbara allows the configuration of security policies to any device deployed in the field so the City Government will just have to define a new policy containing a rule that executes the action of sending an alert (which could be an email, for instance) if the GPS reports a position out of certain area, and remotely deploy that policy to every bike.


In a second phase, the City Government will include public underground parking lots into the city’s traffic network. To do so, they will install smart devices in those parking lots that will detect whether a parking place is occupied by a car or it’s free. Every single device needs to get a specific configuration that includes several security certificates, setting “user” and “admin” profiles and an application that will report the changes in the status (free/occupied) of the parking place the device covers.


Without Barbara, the City Government, apart from the physical installation of the devices, would have to hire a team of engineers to work onsite in the configuration of each new device. For a deployment in 5 parking lots with 200 parking places each and a team of 4 engineers, this task could last around 30 working days and, therefore, cost from 20.000€ to 50.000€. On the contrary, with Barbara, every time a new device is connected to the City’s network, it automatically downloads the whole configuration package, saving the costs of the whole job of configuring it.