San Diego, in partnership with GE, is launching the largest deployment of a city-based Internet of Things platform in the world.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that the city is upgrading streetlights, and is using IoT sensors to transform the lights into a connected digital network that can improve parking, traffic, and public safety, as well as track air quality.

“Fostering innovation and improving infrastructure are important to enhancing the lives of all San Diegans,” Faulconer said. “This new technology will give the city and developers the opportunity to make our neighborhoods safer and smarter.”

The smart nodes installed in the streetlights can use real-time anonymous sensor data to direct drivers to open parking spaces, help first responders during emergencies, track carbon emissions, and identify intersections that can be improved for pedestrians and cyclists. The sensor and data also support the city’s Vision Zero strategy, which is San Diego’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

The city is launching with 3,200 censors across the city, but there is the possibility of expanding the smart network with an additional 3,000 sensors in the future.

Anonymous data gathered by the censors will be available to developers to create apps and software that can benefit the entire community, according to the city.

In addition to investing in the smart sensors, San Diego is also backing new energy-efficient technology. Along with the sensor installation, 14,000 streetlights will be replaced with energy-efficient versions that are expected to reduce energy costs by $2.4 million annually, according to city estimates. The streetlights have the ability to dim and brighten manually or automatically, depending on natural light conditions. The city expects the project to achieve an estimated 60 percent reduction in energy.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs