'Smart' street lights coming to San Diego

Posted at 11:58 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 15:24:49-05

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Kevin Faulconer Wednesday announced a major expansion of a program in which "smart sensors" are installed on San Diego's street lights to gather and disseminate data on things like traffic, parking availability, public safety and air quality.

The city has partnered with the Boston firm Current, powered by GE to install 3,200 of the "Smartlight Sensors."

San Diego officials call it the largest city-based deployment of an "Internet of Things" platform in the world. The Internet of Things refers to web connectivity in everyday items, such as appliances.

The sensors will send all the data up into a cloud, where it will be free and accessible for app developers to use.

The nodes 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.

Installation is scheduled to begin in July.

Additionally, the city will be replacing 14,000 street lights with more energy-efficient versions to reduce energy costs by $2.4 million annually.

The money saved will then be used to run the sensors and maintain the cloud of information.

The street lights include technology that allows for dimming and brightening in public venues manually or automatically, depending on natural light conditions.

City planners are still trying to finalize the locations to get the best results.