Thousands of street lights to get 'smart tech' by the end of August

Posted at 11:38 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 02:39:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than 3,000 street lights in San Diego is expected to get ‘eyes and ears’ by the end of the month.

Last year, the city announced that they would be retrofitting 3,200 street lights with smart technology.

RELATED: Smart street lights coming to San Diego 

Nearly 3,000 of the “sensor packages” have been installed on existing street lights according to David Graham, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Smart & Sustainable Communities.  However, they have not yet been activated.

The technology on the street lights has a sort of camera and microphone.

While it may seem a little “Big Brother-ish” to some, Graham assures the public they won’t be used for spying. 

The cameras and sensors would only collect data on parking, traffic congestion, and pedestrian safety. All the data goes to a cloud-based system and has no identifying capabilities.

The sensors could also be used to fight crime, by being able to the hear gunshots and triangular where the shot was fired.

RELATED: SDPD testing ShotSpotter system that pinpoints locations of shootings, explosions 

“We are laser-focused on security when deploying any new technology, and the smart streetlights use anonymized aggregate data to make it easier to find parking and improve pedestrian safety while protecting privacy,” Graham said.

The sensors are being put on street lights all over San Diego, with a higher concentration of them in urban areas, like downtown.