San Diego Debuts New Smart City Apps & Intelligent Lighting Controls from Current by GE

The City of San Diego in California, which last year announced that it is building the world’s largest smart city IoT platform, revealed several industry-leading system enhancements at Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona earlier this month. In partnership with Current, powered by GE, San Diego is rolling out new digital applications to improve parking, traffic and public safety on city streets; the city has also committed to adding another 1,000 CityIQ sensor nodes plus a first-of-its-kind lighting controls utility interface that will boost LED streetlight efficiency by an additional 20 percent.

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

The initiative is expected to save the city an estimated $3.6 million annually in energy and maintenance costs while enabling a plethora of open data APIs and smart city applications that will help solve some of the city’s biggest challenges. Several city departments, including the Office of Economic Development, San Diego Police Department and Traffic Engineering and Operations, are already working with CityIQ data to improve traffic flow and 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.”

Current’s CityIQ system collects real-time data and its open platform can be used to develop apps, visualise information, provide insights about the city’s operations and enable new citizen services. San Diego’s first app package includes Genetec, a public safety application that aids in real-time response efficiency; and Xaqt, a connected data and AI platform that provides insights into real-time and historical mobility patterns for traffic parking and pedestrian movement.

CityIQ data can also enable expanded coverage of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection app that helps first responders by capturing more than 90 percent of gunfire incidents with precise location information in less than a minute; and CivicSmart, which leverages data to enhance on-street parking availability.

“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.

Ashe said the turnkey approach of providing apps and CityIQ hardware together will save time and money for cities hoping to do what the app store did for smartphones – spawning entrepreneurship, creating jobs, generating revenue and solving problems.

Current and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) also announced the completion of a six-month joint software development effort that allows Current’s Lightgrid wireless control system to automatically interface and transfer streetlight energy usage to the SDG&E billing system. The first-of-its-kind system automates streetlight metering so that energy is billed on an actual consumption basis versus a flat dusk/dawn rate. That means municipalities are billed according to specific usage data, and in San Diego’s case, better accuracy from lighting controls translates to an estimated $250,000 in incremental energy savings.

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