Learn about the modules of the LEZ Management Platform
The new Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition forces Spanish cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to establish urban Low Emission Zones (LEZs) to improve air quality and achieve a healthier environment for the citizens. In our previous article, we explained what this measure is about and what are the phases to implement the LEZ.
The central piece of the LEZ implementation is the LEZ Platform. This platform is the software solution including the different sources of information that make up the ZBE (cameras, DGT, information systems of the city council and the police, frontal for the citizen, etc.); it also contains the logic of penalties to be applied from the information received.
Furthermore, the centralization of data and its storage in the ZBE Platform opens the door to incorporate the most modern data-driven paradigms. Thus, the ZBE Platform can be the foundational basis of the smart city, allowing the use of analytics to turn these data into information and knowledge (generate new KPIs, identify areas for improvement, transform processes and improve public services). Even Machine Learning techniques and Artificial Intelligence can be used to anticipate future conditions and implement preventive actions such as, for example, preserving air quality by optimizing traffic control under certain conditions.
In summary, the different components of the ZBE Platform are:
The registry of authorizations is a frontal for the citizens, either an app or a website, where users can request daily circulation authorizations for polluting vehicles, as well as other exceptions and authorizations (such as vehicles for people with reduced mobility, emergency and essential services, foreign vehicles, driving tests in repair shops or moratoriums for professional vehicles, among others).
The Management platform (or back office) of the ZBE Platform is its control center. It allows authorized users to set the logic parameters for those vehicles likely to be penalized, consult stored records, register and maintain capture systems, as well as checking the alerts that may have been generated.
The LEZ Platform must incorporate a Business Intelligence module to take advantage of the LEZ data through different signs. This module will allow a control of the activity of the system, providing quantitative and qualitative information in the suitable format to support planning and decision-making, as well as for the management carried out by both municipal and contract managers.
In this sense, the current development of technology in the field of data analysis allows to count on increasingly interactive, flexible and adaptable systems which can be supported by the scalability of cloud platforms and use ad hoc data analysis to support unstructured problem-solving management, decision making and future planning.
Therefore, the monitoring system must go beyond the technical level (signs of how the platform is working), and also provide a functional perspective, allowing the incorporation of qualitative signs on the content of the data when analyzing them. The next level will be to incorporate predictive analytics through Artificial Intelligence techniques.
Watcher App is a responsive private web that enables members of the local authority to check if a specific vehicle is allowed to travel within the LEZ.
The back end of the system contains the logic parameters and processes in order to record and maintain data from information systems. It includes a module that should be highlighted due to its importance: The Penalties Module, which allows to manage the logic parameters for vehicles likely to be penalized.
The Penalties Module must allow a flexible management of the decision logics for offending vehicles, in order to be able to adapt them to possible regulatory changes. For example, the system must allow the application of logics according to parameters such as one or more time periods, the day of the week and/or the type of day, pollution episodes or exemption criteria such as white lists or special days/events, among others. All this by zones, or groups of zones (superzones).
Likewise, the system must foresee the control of routes and be able to include in the logics decisions on parameters such as time spent, admitted itinerary, etc. In this sense, it is important that the system is intelligent enough so that, in the event of a violation, it avoids generating multiple penalties for the same vehicle and for a single route.
Furthermore, to avoid reporting users who inadvertently did not register beforehand (for example, in case of a medical emergency), it must be possible to define a delay period for the application of decision logics.
Once decision logics have been applied and whenever there are potential offenders, the system will allow the validation of the penalties information by an operator.
The ZBE Platform is integrated into different data sources to retrieve the information necessary for the service, as well as into the city council platforms. Its main sources of information are:
- NPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition): License plate recognition system through cameras installed at different access points.
- DGT: The DGT periodically provides an updated database of environmental labels and the standardization category of vehicles to decide if they are affected by restrictions and moratoriums.
- SCCA (Air Quality Control System): In the event of a declared pollution episode, it is indicated to the system, both to automatically display information in different media and to apply the related protocols, if necessary.
- Municipal systems: For example, the interface to notify any unfulfillment so that the municipal body in charge can issue the corresponding penalty record.
- Information boards: Depending on the access point, the information provided to users in fixed information boards is complemented by variable message boards. These boards can be set from the ZBE Platform, for example, to show specific images when there is an active pollution episode.
Finally, here is a video that shows the system working:
If you are looking for a technological partner to accompany you in the creation of the Low Emissions Zone, contact us and we will contribute all our experience in the creation of the Barcelona LEZ. You can also find more information in our brochure about the LEZ.