San Diego announces further expansion of world’s largest smart city IoT platform


Having announced last year that it is building the world’s largest smart city Internet of Things (IoT) platform, the City of San Diego has revealed several industry-leading system enhancements at Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona (Spain) this week.

In partnership with Current, powered by GE (General Electric), California’s second largest city is rolling out new digital applications to improve parking, traffic and public safety on city streets.

San Diego 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%. All told, 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 US$3.6m 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.

Current is working with AT&T and Intel on the project. The CityIQ sensors are powered by the AT&T LTE cellular network to provide secure, reliable connectivity. Intel IoT technologies in each intelligent node provide computing power, help extract metadata and perform multi-sensor fusion over a secured cloud connection. Current’s CityIQ system collects real-time data and its open platform can be used to develop apps, visualize information, provide insights about the city’s operations and enable new citizen services.

San Diego’s first app package includes Genetec’s 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% of gunfire incidents with precise location information in less than a minute, and CivicSmart, which uses data to enhance on-street parking availability.

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 actual streetlight energy usage data to the SDG&E billing system, saving the city an estimated US$250,000.

“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 general manager of intelligent cities, Austin Ashe, noted, “San Diego is setting a great example for other cities to follow. Using this rich dense data, it can develop plans and implement solutions that impact critical issues, all through their app store. The turnkey approach of providing apps and CityIQ hardware together will save both time and money.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.