Founded by Pavegen, it was initially introduced as a singular tile, which converts the energy of a footstep into electricity, and can be stored for later use or used directly by mobile devices and building management systems. However, the company has evolved from its singular tiles of generating electricity to including three multi-functional component parts (floor, data, and energy). This will serve two components in driving data-driven smart cities; (1) Reduce dependancy on depleting natural resources to generate electricity; and (2) The multi-functional component will allow footsteps and movements of crowds to be monitored, providing real-time data and assisting in optimising space and floor management.
In 2015, the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity. About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels. By 2040, U.S’s electricity power requirements will grow by 30%. Energy harvesting technologies from road infrastructure and sidewalks serves as a promising technique to addressing the global energy problem without depleting natural resources.
By 2015, 54% of the world’s population live in cities and it’s expected to reach 66% by 2050. As the world population becomes increasingly urbanised, city planners must plan accordingly to improve living standards of inhabitants by ensuring city infrastructures such as public transportation do not become saturated. Hence, a data-driven approach will be crucial in developing transportation schedules to accommodate individuals during peak hours. Pavegen’s multi-functional tiles provide real-time data movement analytics of crowd sizes, allowing the city transportation department to plan accordingly.
Issue: Energy, natural resource dependancy
-Urban Planners, Architects, Engineers
-City dwellers, Residents
-Municipal, city department i.e transportation, electricity
-Initially, to create awareness of the product, Pavegen installed the tiles at the finish line of the Paris Marathon. The company must continue to create awareness by initiating a pilot test in a smaller city to entice investors. If initially investment is lacking to conduct the pilot test, a possible solution would be to create some form of agreement with the local government, possibly price reduction or 1 year free consultation/maintenance. Conduct the pilot survey for a period of 6 months to 1 year, recording data on energy saved and fossil fuel consumption. Finally, publicise findings ( if supporting of course) over media and other social networks to increase awareness and interest investors.
-To fully integrate Pavegen’s multi-functional tiles and create a noticeable large-scale impact ( in terms of energy saved/annum, and fossil fuel consumption), it will require the collaboration various stakeholders including the transportation department, city-planners and private businesses. Hence, building Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) will be crucial in successfully executing this scheme. Creating transparency, especially during the preliminary decision-making phase in the allocation of tiles will be important, to ensure most, if not all, stakeholder interests are considered and satisfied.
-Once the tiles have been installed, provide training to city department workers for addressing maintenance issues. Alternatively, due to its relatively new entrance into the technology market, provide one-year free maintenance and training to city staff.