Projects // Guided Autonomous Locations

Guided Autonomous Locations

Guided AL addresses the development of a web based smart service platform for autonomous, cyber-physical buildings.

Building automation is a sector in upheaval. The existing and standardised fieldbus technologies like KNX are constantly and quickly being joined by new, and above all, cheaper, automation solutions. It is foreseeable that the existing value-added chains based on the sale and often complex installation of automation components will fade into the background. The number of automated or partly automated buildings in constantly growing and this creates an interesting, new and growing market for new, intelligent value-added services in the area of building automation.

Due to their extensive sensor and control capabilities, automated residential and commercial buildings are cyber-physical systems which constitute a technically well-equipped basis for sector-specific, intelligent value-added services (smart services); the technology competition “Smart Service World—Internet Based Services for the Industry” creates a framework for their study. Smart services can be conceived for the intelligent control of the building itself, and as intelligent services for the building users.

The research project “Guided Autonomous Locations (GuidedAL)” explores the technological requisites necessary to create and offer cross-building smart services based on existing and new automation technologies. Besides the necessary platform infrastructure for more comprehensive smart service solutions, it is also of importance to work on the easy technical feasibility of smaller, more thematically focused, more intelligent applications that could run, for example, as specific apps on the new autonomous locations service platform. The project studies and implements approaches for the service platform and creates model applications in the areas of living, working, shopping and health care, based on the autonomous locations service platform.

To date, the implementation of new smart services has been strongly hindered by the extremely heterogeneous systems landscape in building automation because there are numerous fieldbus and middleware systems that are not compatible with each other, or only to a certain extent. Furthermore, the different systems have very different levels of abstraction with regard to available data and services, which severely hampers the meaningful interpretation of the data outside its own system. Another disadvantage of the available solutions is that data gathering and control functions are limited to a single building. For external providers of intelligent supplementary services it would take an immense technical and monetary effort to adapt their offer to every single automation solution. These development costs would not the only fixed costs, though. In order to maintain their services, the providers would have to continuously examine the programming interfaces of the competition. Every new conceivable smart device is dependent on homogeneously defined, non-proprietary, modularly expandable interfaces.

GuidedAl endeavours to create an open autonomous locations service platform based on established web standards, which will study how data and functions from existing automation systems can be added to a service platform independent of system that makes them available as needed for external services and other technical systems, also across different buildings. Besides the data itself, the autonomous locations platform would also offer services across different areas, which would seamlessly combine the areas of living, working and shopping. Other components are a service repository and a service engine for smart services. The goal is to keep the hurdles as low as possible for small providers and to simplify the creation of more complex services.

GuidedAL seeks to establish and evaluate the technical conditions necessary to create a new market for intelligent value-added services in the field of building automation. External service providers could—after the corresponding release and authorisation by the autonomous locations service platform—get the necessary data and basic functions to create new, intelligent services that could be offered as apps, for example, and would create for customers an interesting added value.

Information on funding and further project participants

Funding code: 01MD16010E