Engineer and GE’s IoT

The city of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the country, so when we do something big it does have a ripple effect, and we can set an example for the rest of the country, and sometimes even the rest of the world. We set a target of being 100% renewable in our electricity sector by 2035. We are really going big on sustainability and climate action. Super ambitious, also a really big challange.

Data powered cities

Data is really the foundation for how we know how well we are doing. We have so many moving parts, so many different inputs of activities and information, and so many different services happening at the same time. It’s something we don’t often think about, but everything runs on electricity and energy. We have about 30 000 streetlights in the city of San Diego.

They are these tall, vertical, 40 foot poles, that currently are very single used, they just shine light. We are installing 14 000 of those with GE’s LED streetlights.A subset of those, about 3 200 streetlights, that will have GEs sensors attached to them.

So the opportunity is there to track air quality, to having camera technologies that can track cars, and people and bikes, and it has audio capabilities. All sorts of things you can now know by having real-time information that’s all, again, from that one single 40-foot pole that we had.

It is very typical of California

We have a lot of people that just drive alone in their cars now, and that is the way the city was originally designed. 

And we are trying to shift that to get 50% of people to get around by biking, walking or using some form of transit. We are constantly tracking things and measuring what we are doing, and that allows us to really know, objectively, if something’s working and how we can improve it.

The rollout of the sensor technology with Current by GE, it’s the largest roll out of city IoT technology in the country.

Siong Ming Lim: senior software engineer, Current by GE

“The platform we are building for San Diego allows for open access to all the city data from these connected streetlight nodes. The goal is for third parties and developers to use the platform to build solutions for the city. Using sensors and software on top of existing infrastructure is what Current is all about.

The ability to share data and collectively make San Diego run better is really valuable for everyone.”

Radley Angelo : engineer and software developer, San Diego

“The exciting part really is the democratization of data. It’s accessibility where there really wasn’t a lot before. Getting really granular data about where I live and things that actually affect me, there’s something kind of awesome about that level of precision how to better understand maps and models of what’s happening around us.

Where businesses have more pedestrian traffic, for example. Or population density , or how people move, and how your guys plan changes to the city. I think its just cool to think about how it’s gonna be made with better tools and more data and more insight.”

World population growth and urbanization are projected to add another 2.5 billion people to cities by 2050. Sensors from Current, powered by GE, will open 75 terabytes of data per year to the city planner, developer, and engineer.

source: General Electric