The TALQ Consortium Expands Its Smart City Protocol to Environment and Traffic Management

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2Q 2022 | IN-6488

The smart city protocol better known for its smart streetlighting protocol is expanding further into different smart city verticals to help cities avoid issues with vendor lock-in and to increase interoperability of services.

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Version 2.4.0


The TALQ Consortium announced the release of version 2.4.0 of their open Application Programming Interface (API) standard for smart cities in February 2022. The new specifications include profiles for environmental monitoring, smart traffic management, and smart parking, among others.

The Benefits of TALQ


The TALQ consortium was originally developed as a smart streetlighting protocol in 2012, and its members—including Itron, Signify, Schréder, and Quantela—are among some of the biggest smart streetlighting vendors across the globe. Companies can have their products certified with TALQ, ensuring interoperability between Central Management Systems (CMSs) and Outdoor Device Networks (ODNs). This has a multitude of benefits for cities, including multivendor choices, OpenAPI Specification for accelerated innovation, common language for smart city applications, and increased cost-efficiency. There are currently 41 products approved to carry the TALQ certification, including 18 CMSs and 23 gateways (ODNs) from 27 companies.

Earlier versions of the product expanded the protocol into other areas of smart cities beyond the original smart outdoor lighting, and in July 2021, TALQ made their protocol publicly available on GitHub. This was to allow cities to better understand what they should include in requests in public tenders across smart city applications. It further allows manufacturers to consider integrating the protocol into their systems to become interoperable with solutions of other vendors. This can be beneficial for vertical-specific vendors as it allows them to advertise their product as a part of a wider smart city system that will work with existing and future products.

Open Source and Smart Cities


There is an increasing interest in open source and open standards organizations as requirements for smart cities. TALQ is just one of many different open source and open standards organizations. Open source and open standards give cities a lot more power over vendor choice and can help to prevent vendor lock-in. This is especially important as each city presents a unique problem that may not exactly fit one vendor’s solution, so the ability to mix and match vendors and guarantee vendor interoperability is a powerful position for cities. Further, cities are often building on top of legacy solutions that may dominate that city, and they may not have the funds to completely change, for example, a municipal water sensor system—but they are able to build on or update it. This is where the benefit of systems like TALQ are powerful.

Other open source and open standards organizations have been active in recent years, with India announcing the national adoption of the oneM2M standard in 2020. The oneM2M common service layer is an Internet of Things (IoT) standard designed to break down silos and allows any IoT application to discover and interact with any IoT device. The commitment by India to use oneM2M demonstrates the importance of connected IoT applications for India’s 100 smart cities project.

More recently, FIWARE, whose partners include Atos, NEC, Red Hat, Telefonica and more, announced that they have strengthened ties with Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) to drive open standards in cities and regions. OASC develops Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), including MIM2-Common Data Models, based on open standards that include FIWARE NGSI-LD. This partnership encourages the use of open standards as OASC has a network of over 160 cities and 30 countries and FIWARE has open-source technologies and over 800 smart data models.

Open standards and standardization could be used to accelerate the adoption of smart city technologies as it helps give cities more guarantees when investing in systems. Cities work on tight budgets, and there is often hesitation about investing in costly smart city technologies as city governments cannot afford for them to fail, but standards help ensure that legacy systems are still functional and that new investment is building on what is already there and not making previous investments redundant. More information can be found in ABI Research’s upcoming report, The Development of Smart City Standards and KPIs.