Smart city solutions are often still associated with science fiction rather than reality. Why so? Because interactive technologies used in smart cities are invisible to most of the inhabitants on an everyday basis. Orange Polska, in cooperation with NCT SA, decided to change this and show how a smart city can help take care of, for example, road safety.

How do smart cities work? They develop using modern information and communication technologies. Thanks to them, transport, traffic management and using city institutions are easier, but also much more economical. Orange Polska is actively participating in the transformation of Polish cities into smart cities – it is a company that focuses on projects that bring benefits to residents, city budgets and the environment.

“Most smart city solutions are not visible at first glance because they concern infrastructure. However, it is easier to notice the benefits that result from them” explains Daria Drabik, Senior Solutions Manager at Orange Polska. “Modernising city lighting allows you to halve city fees for electricity consumed to power street lamps. Expenses for this purpose sometimes amount to up to 60 percent of the entire city budget. In turn, quick identification of leaks and water supply faults allows to minimise water loss in the city network and reduces the bills paid by residents. Smart road crossings improve the safety of pedestrians and help reduce the number of road accidents with them” explains Daria Drabik.

More than 120 cities in Poland have already benefited from Orange Polska’s support in managing public bikes, controlling city lighting, air quality and reading water meters. Three more have just joined this group – the winners of the Intelligent Crossing competition, whose partner was NCT SA

Smart road crossings mean safer pedestrians

The aim of the entire competition was not only to improve road safety, but also to show that it is worth investing in smart city solutions.

“The competition was very popular. Nearly 40 cities competed and we divided them into three categories according to their population” says Daria Drabik. “We were pleased to watch how local communities got involved in voting and how discussions about security and new technologies began. In the context of our initiative, the media also started an important discussion about road safety” says the expert.

Finally, Świdwin, Rybnik and Iława received the most votes in the plebiscite. Intelligent pedestrian crossings are already operational in the first two cities. They are based on NCT solutions enriched with a management system from Orange. In Iława, such a crossing will be present at the beginning of 2024.

“Thanks to the use of modern electronic systems (including motion detectors), as well as acoustic and optical warning signals, Smartpole Crossing active crossings, inform the driver when a pedestrian is approaching” explains Rafał Bednarczyk, President of the Management Board of NCT SA. “The composite from which the poles making up a Smartpole Crossing are made meets the highest standards of passive safety. These are currently the safest solutions of this type available on the market” notes Rafał Bednarczyk.

The Intelligent Crossing competition was not the first opportunity for cooperation between Orange Polska and NCT SA. Previously, the companies had already implemented projects together, complementing each other ‘s competencies.

“Both now and in previous projects, we have had excellent cooperation,” says Daria Drabik from Orange Polska. “NCT SA provides the highest-quality composite technological solutions and has extensive knowledge in this field. Our part is dealing with lamp communication and the entire system. I am glad that together we can increase road safety for Polish people” adds Daria Drabik.

Smartpole crossing