BY ANGELA MOSCARITOLO
24 FEB 2017, 7:56 A.M.
Data could be used to help direct drivers to open parking spots and assist first responders.
San Diego is about to get a lot smarter.
The city this week announced a $30 million project to deploy what it's calling "the world's largest smart city [internet of things] sensor platform." In partnership with GE's Current division, the city will install 3,200 sensor nodes on street light poles to "optimize parking and traffic, enhance public safety, and track air quality."
The installation, slated to begin this July, will turn San Diego's street lights into a "connected digital network" allowing the city to collect real-time, anonymous data. That data could be used to direct drivers to open parking spots via an app, assist first responders during emergencies, track carbon emissions, and identify intersections that can be improved for pedestrians and cyclists, the city said.
"This new technology will give the city and developers the opportunity to make our neighborhoods safer and smarter," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement.
Several developers are already working on apps to take advantage of the anonymized data. Those apps include ShotSpotter, which can detect the location of gunshots in real-time and CivicSmart, which helps locate on-street parking.
The city sees the installation of 3,200 nodes as a "first step." If all goes well, the city may hook up another 3,000 later this year. The sensors will be connected to AT&T's LTE network. Inside each node will be Intel silicon and IoT technology that will help extract data.
San Diego also plans to replace 14,000 street lights with more energy-efficient versions, a move expected to save the city $2.4 million annually as well as reduce energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and light pollution. The new LED fixtures can be monitored through a single dashboard, allowing city managers to remotely dim or brighten the lights.