San Diego Unveiled Smart City Enhancements

The City of San Diego, California, which announced last year it is building the world’s largest smart city IoT platform, unveiled several system enhancements at Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona, Spain this week.

In partnership with Current, powered by GE San Diego is implementing new digital applications to improve traffic, parking, and public safety on city streets. Current is working with AT&T and Intel on the project.

In addition, the city has committed to add another 1,000 CityIQ sensor nodes and plans to add a first-of-its-kind lighting controls utility interface that Current by GE says will boost LED streetlight efficiency by an additional 20 percent.

Luxeon High Power

In total, the project’s digital infrastructure will feature 4,200 new CityIQ nodes installed across 14,000 new individually metered LED fixtures.

Current’s CityIQ sensors, which are powered by the AT&T LTE network, reportedly offer secure, reliable connectivity. Also, Intel® IoT technologies in each intelligent node calculate power, help extract metadata, and perform multi-sensor fusion over a secured cloud connection.

The effort is expected to save the city an about $3.6 million annually in energy and maintenance costs. Furthermore, the installation will enable a plethora of open data APIs and smart city applications that could solve some of the city’s biggest issues.

Current by GE says that several city departments, including the San Diego Police Department, the Office of Economic, and Traffic Engineering and Operations are already using CityIQ data to speed traffic flow and improve pedestrian safety.

“Our ability to leapfrog our smart cities technology ahead in both energy savings and scale is a testament to the hard work and ongoing collaboration of many public and private stakeholders,” explained Erik Caldwell, San Diego’s interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

“We are proud of our progress so far in building a solution that will stand the test of time and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”

First Apps Packages for San Diego

Current’s CityIQ* system accumulates real-time data and its open platform can be used to develop apps, visualize information, and provide insights about the city’s operations. This information can be utilized to enable new citizen services. San Diego’s first app package will include GenetecTM, a public safety application that improves real-time response efficiency and Xaqt, a connected data and AI platform that delivers insights into real-time and historical patterns for traffic, parking, and pedestrian movement.

CityIQ data can also expand the coverage of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection app that recognizes the sound of gunshots in an area and then notifies first responders in less than a minute about more than 90 percent of gunfire incidents with precise location information. Also, the Civic Smart app uses data to help app users know where on-street parking is available.

“San Diego once again is setting a great example for other cities to follow. Using this rich dense data, the city can develop plans and implement solutions that impact critical citizen issues – all through their app store,” said Austin Ashe, Current by GE, general manager, Intelligent Cities. “The possibilities are limitless for San Diego to unlock the potential of the data and use it to benefit both city operations and citizens, today and in the future.”

Ashe said the turnkey approach of supplying apps and CityIQ hardware together will save time and money for cities.

Automated Streetlight Meters for San Diego Gas & Electric

Current and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) also reported the completion of a 6-month joint software development project that allows Current’s Lightgrid* wireless control system to automatically interface and transfer streetlight energy usage data to the SDG&E billing system. The first-of-its-kind system automates streetlight metering and bills the city based upon actual consumption instead of applying a flat dusk/dawn rate. Current says that in San Diego’s case, enhanced accuracy from lighting controls and energy usage monitoring translates to an about $250,000 in incremental energy savings.

“SDG&E’s use of third-party meter data was new but coupling that capability with a consumption-based concept is pioneering,” Caldwell explained. “It is gratifying to continue to see our teams delivering solutions that directly benefit the communities we serve.”