The streetlights in San Diego are about to get a high-tech makeover, with the deployment of 3,200 smart sensors, announced Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
At a conference held in East Village at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Mayor Faulconer explained the city is partnering with GE to work on a project unique to San Diego. It will be one of the largest 'Internet of Things' platforms in the world, according to the city.
"This technology is powerful. Downtown visitors will be able to find parking easily and in real time using a smart phone, and the environmental and transportation data will help Downtown to meet the goals of the Climate Action Plan. This is a huge win for San Diego," said Kris Michell, the President and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, in a statement.
The smart streetlights will reduce energy costs by 60 percent in the city. With the sensors, the streetlights will transform into a connected digital network that can maximize efficiency for parking and traffic, as well as support public safety and track air quality.
City officials say the sensors can use real-time anonymous sensor data to direct drivers to open parking spaces, help first responders in emergencies, track carbon emissions and identify intersections that can be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Moreover, the City will replace 14,000 streetlights with more energy efficient versions, according to the city. The improved version allows for dimming and brightening in public venues manually or automatically, with regards to natural light conditions. It will also reduce energy costs by $2.4 million annually.
"We're honored to be part of this historic transformation," said Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of Current, powered by GE, in a statement. "We have a proud history of helping San Diego proactively save energy through efficient lighting, and now we're expanding that same infrastructure beyond energy into a new realm of intelligence."
The project is expected to be completed by fall 2018, but installation of the new lights will begin this summer across the city. Although the city will start with 3,200 sensor nodes, there is potential to expand to another 3,000 points later.