Sheffield streets come to life as highway network gets UK’s biggest IoT smart tech overhaul


Connexin partners with Streets Ahead contractor Amey to build the latest UK smart city powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Waste bins that say they’re full, grit bins which tell you they’re empty, drains which ask to be cleaned, and trees which demand water.

It sounds futuristic, but the technology is available, and it’s coming to Sheffield.

By spring, the city’s highways contractor, Amey, will have created a digitised public highway network for Sheffield, with thousands of individual sensors communicating wirelessly via smart sensors deployed to the city’s assets.

Smart City Operator

Amey, which operates Streets Ahead, the city-wide highways maintenance contract, is positioning itself at the forefront of smart city technology to deliver a more efficient service to the City of Sheffield via our proprietary platform.

Amey will use our IoT-powered platform, CityOS, to integrate, view, manage, and respond to information to improve highway maintenance services and revolutionise service delivery across Sheffield, from Stocksbridge to Mosborough.

IoT-powered Smart City Platform

Our CityOS platform is literally an “operating system for a smart city”. Delivered in partnership with Cisco and Quantela, it will digitally connect essential highway maintenance services and inform operatives about the condition of street assets in real time. 

For example, when to:

Empty high street bins to avoid overflowing

Refill grit bins in preparation for icy conditions

Clear gullies to reduce the risk of flash flooding

Water trees to prevent dehydration 

By alerting operatives, Amey’s maintenance managers will always be one step ahead.

Another huge benefit to the system will be a reduction in air pollution, with staff making fewer journeys across the city and being able to avoid spots where air quality levels are poor, to reduce the impact.

As a result, Sheffield residents will benefit from a better quality of life, with cleaner and safer living conditions, and improved maintenance services which are delivered in a more efficient, sustainable manner, contributing to the city’s Clean Air Strategy.

Reduced energy consumption, pollution, and congestion

Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, said: 

“This is very much about us working better and smarter towards a greener and cleaner future for Sheffield.

“By investing in this new initiative, our contractors will be undertaking fewer journeys, which in turn will result in a reduction in energy consumption, pollution and congestion, whilst ensuring our streets are kept clean and our bins are emptied using a more efficient and effective approach.

“Using technology in this pioneering way will help the Council in its efforts to tackle the climate crisis, whilst improving standards. Following installation, those who live and work in our city should see a positive impact in their neighbourhoods fairly quickly.

“Sheffield is an ambitious and proud city and where we lead, others will follow.”

James Haluch, Managing Director of Transport Infrastructure at Amey, says: 

“Technology is becoming more and more part of our everyday lives. Working with our partners in the public and private sector, we have to make radical changes to the way we deliver services. I’m delighted that we’re embracing Connexin’s technology, which is one of the first times it’s been used in a city environment, that will benefit our service delivery and help to improve local communities. It will also offer a more environmentally sustainable solution to reduce our carbon footprint and maximise the use of resources, allowing us to provide a continually evolving service for Sheffield residents.”

Driving technological innovation in the North

Rob Bullock, Chief Sales Officer at Connexin, says: 

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Amey to deliver services in Sheffield, further demonstrating that the digital economy and innovation is thriving in the North.

“Our complete solution is built on the CityOS platform, bringing together the best of breed capabilities from Cisco Kinetic for Cities and the Atlantis Smart City platform from Quantela which together present the city’s assets in a single aggregated view.

“This project has far-reaching, long-term benefits that go beyond simply delivering service efficiencies. A city with reduced service vehicles contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution is a benefit to everyone and has the potential to become the ‘new norm’ for how services are delivered to cities.

“The investment Amey has made in CityOS will support an agile approach to future technology adoption. CityOS is ‘open’ and, as new use cases are discovered, Amey will be able to integrate new data sets to expand their service offering.”

Driving smart cities innovation in the North

Stu Higgins, Head of Smart Cities & IoT at Cisco UK & Ireland, says: 

“With so many components to a Smart City, from sensors creating data to insights that need to be actioned, by introducing an operating system for services in the city, Sheffield and Amey will be able to create true value for those living and working in the city.

“We’re delighted to be working with Connexin, Quantela, and Amey on this initiative.”

Amr Salem, COO at Quantela, says: 

“Quantela is delighted to partner with Connexin and Cisco to deliver an intelligent digital platform for Amey, to help them provide better services to Sheffield City Council.

“With councils and service providers looking at more efficient ways to manage assets and services, digitisation will aid in extracting efficiencies and unlocking economic value. Our endeavour is to help our partners and clients to bridge different islands of information, deliver new insights and improved services for the city and its residents, businesses, and visitors.

“We believe that this project will help bring more digital services to Sheffield in the future and we look forward to this journey with our esteemed partners.”

Discover more about IoT-enabled smart cities in the UK.