Tunja City Implements IoT Taxi Tracking with Illumination and Abeeway

Press Release – Tunja, Colombia & Paris, France – April 4th 2022 

Tunja city, Colombia, has successfully deployed an IoT project of city taxis fleet tracking and safety, in order to provide the drivers with a mean of self-protection.  The solution, initiated by Iluminacion.co, a leading Colombian provider of IoT and renewable energy solutions, is based on Abeeway tracking devices and innovative ultra-low-power LoRaWAN® connectivity for data transfer.

Finding a way to increase drivers’ safety  

Tunja is a city in northeast Colombia and the capital of the Boyacá department, with roughly 170,000 inhabitants. Tunja is an important educational center of well-known universities of the country and is now on its way to becoming the first Smart City in Colombia.

The city has a fleet of roughly 1200 taxis. The drivers are independent and pay for the vehicles with their own money. Which means in case of aggression or theft of their vehicle they incur financial loss and have no protection. There is no efficient call number for police to take immediate action.  

The Tunja City Administration was looking for a solution and approached Ilumination.co, which led to a first ongoing pilot project, covering the first batch of 200 taxis being tracked across the city. The city has already approved the deployment of 1000 more taxis. The project is based on Abeeway Micro Trackers that are connected to the lighter of the car for constant power supply and provide location information every 3 minutes throughout the day.

The Panic Button of the tracker plays a crucial role as it allows drivers to alert the police forces and be located very quickly. On the other hand, the police department is interested in deploying the trackers on their own vehicles fleet for real-time location and dispatch.

Unmatched network technology combined with a flexible tracking solution 

The reason a LoRaWAN-based solution has convinced the city officials is its uncontestable coverage advantages over cellular networking technologies like 4G which happens to present a lot of blind spots. Conventional cellular-based GPS devices do not work everywhere, and, furthermore, their radio signal can be easily jammed, facilitating theft.

LoRaWAN® is a widely used wireless communication technology, which makes use of unlicensed radio spectrum and allows battery-powered sensors to communicate with IoT applications across a very long-range while supporting low data rates.

LoRaWAN came to be extremely handy for this city, which presents a difficult geographical environment with mountains, hills and high buildings. It’s more efficient and cheaper than cellular or satellite networks. LoRaWAN transmissions can pass through glass, metal, and concrete, allowing data to be sent not only outdoors, but also deep indoors and underground, which is a definite advantage for an anti-theft solution.  Moreover, just a couple gateways enable covering huge areas and deploying IoT use cases without a significant cost and delay.

Benefiting from LoRaWAN’s characteristics, Abeeway provides long autonomy devices that allow continuous usage for months and years. The devices work both indoors and outdoors thanks to their multi-technology geolocation system, integrating standard and Abeeway’s patented Low-power GPS, WiFi sniffing, Bluetooth Low Energy Beaconing feature for precise indoor tracking.

It turned out that the GPS coverage in Tunja is excellent due to its overall altitude of over 2 800 m above sea level. The positions are received with no chance of failure, while the usage of LoRaWAN allows to avoid all disruption in communication: all location points are retrieved and allow to get the transit data in any case.

Abeeway devices combine cutting-edge location technologies, robust hardware, a meticulous selection of high-performing low-power chipsets and the no-compromise optimization of software. This allows flexible behavior, highly responsive to changing needs, and guaranteeing asset and people location in various coverage scenarios.

Building the first smart city in Colombia

The collaboration between Iluminacion.co and Abeeway and Actility was crucial for the success of this project and serves as a model for other cities seeking to improve the safety and efficiency of their transportation systems. The use of IoT and LoRaWAN technology has proven to be an effective solution for cities looking to become smart cities.

Tunja City administration is not stopping there: it has great plans for development. LoRaWAN is a new technology in the country, but the city is already planning on taking advantage of the mutualization opportunity of the LoRaWAN network: other city divisions can use the same network to install all kinds of sensors to monitor city assets and activities, like smart water metering and smart street lighting, and also tracking city buses, having better control of traffic lights in order to reduce pollution and improve operations.

Furthermore, this project also laid the foundation for Tunja to incorporate more aspects of smart city technology, such as waste management and outdoor lighting, as the platform is highly adaptable and can be used for multiple use cases in a single instance. The city plans to include other smart city initiatives, streamlining the management and monitoring of multiple systems in real-time. This means that the city can efficiently move forward with new projects and optimize resources to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

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“Honored to be one of the first projects in Latin America implementing IOT to enhance security and public service. Colombia is a great country of opportunity and capability for growth within technology and this IOT implementation showcased that traditional issues can be overcome with new technology.”

Ginette Cardozo, Commercial Director at Iluminacion.co SAS

“At Actility, we are honored to have been a part of the Tunja city IoT project by providing our innovative Abeeway tracking devices using LoRaWAN® connectivity. It is heartening to know that our technology has played a significant role in increasing the safety and security of taxi drivers in Tunja. We are proud to have contributed to this project and hope that it will serve as an inspiration for other cities to adopt similar IoT solutions for their communities.”

Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility

Photo of Olivier Hersent


Iluminacion.co SAS is a leader in technology development and renewable energy in the Colombian marketplace and delivers custom and innovative solutions to common issues by blending the best in technology with renewable energy and energy efficiency.

IoT is a relatively new and is built upon an established radio technology, yet when the City of Tunja contacted us for a GPS based tracking solution and panic response we did design an IoT radio-based system that overcame the City-wide issues with 4G communication blackspots and erratic geography that caused traditional 4G and WIFI signals to be unstable.

This was a difficult challenge as topography really did destabilize traditional radio communication

The project in Tunja was built upon quality trackers made by Abeeway and Custom radio Antennas designed by Iluminacion.co and backbone infrastructure of Actility network. This pairing of technologies allowed Iluminacion.co SAS to deliver a stable, reliable, long range, low power and low bandwidth custom network to the City of Tunja so that the Taxis could be tracked and Panic events reported live to relevant authorities

About Abeeway 

Abeeway is the market leader in low-power indoor & outdoor fused geolocation and a provider of disruptive IoT tracking solutions worldwide. Abeeway offers the most energy-efficient, reliable and flexible geolocation solutions using unique tracking devices and a smart Multi-technology location system optimized for long-range and low-power-consumption leveraging LoRaWAN™ connectivity. Abeeway devices are available on ThingPark Market.  Abeeway is a member of the LoRa Alliance™

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About Actility 

Actility is the world leader in low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of enterprises trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides  patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of numerous use cases.

For more information, visit https://www.actility.com/contact.

What is LoRa and LoRaWAN white paper techniical overview, benfits and use cases

Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper