Connected LED opens path to ‘intelligent cities’

Connected LED opens path to ‘intelligent cities’

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

From high street lighting costs to traffic congestion, parking allotments and emergency response, cities across the world have to manage a variety of challenges. GE is developing solutions to help cities solve such problems by using their existing infrastructure. By repurposing street lights with LEDs containing sensors, controls, wireless transmitters and microprocessors, a city will be able to create new opportunities for reducing cost, optimizing their operations and creating value-added services for residents, making their cities even more livable and workable.

Driven by Predix, GE’s innovative software platform that connects machines, data and people to help improve asset performance management, the intelligent-cities
enabling technology will provide a platform for the future development of intelligent applications that will deliver efficiency for the city and convenience for citizens.

“This solution truly presents endless possibilities for cities to learn, connect and improve both their operations and everyday life for their citizens,” explained
Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of GE Lighting. “In the pilots with San Diego and Jacksonville, we will be working with the cities to analyze data trends and
determine where the solution holds the most value and how it will ultimately be used.”

The solution claims to offer a city access to real-time data that never existed before.

Networked LED street lights will have the ability to direct drivers to available parking spaces with the help of built-in sensors and wireless transceivers. The same streetlight could also serve as a sensor and give warnings in the event of a hurricane or other event through a public-address speaker concealed within the light post. In another scenario, microprocessors and other sensors could work together to give emergency responders real-time views of an area as they are responding to an emergency call before they even arrive on scene.

GE’s intelligent LEDs are a gateway to city-changing technology, with sensors, controls, wireless transmitters and microprocessors built within the LED system.

Jacksonville, the largest city in terms of area for the continental U.S., will trial the GE solution in the summer of 2015.

“Jacksonville is excited to be on the front lines with this pilot project, using new technology to increase efficiency and drive innovation, at no cost to taxpayers,”
said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. “This is another example of how public-private partnerships can drive innovation and provide a return on investment for our taxpayers. This technology has the potential to transform how our city solves problems by allowing us to use the power of data to drive outcomes that give us
flexibility, efficiency and new, creative actions to enhance life in our city.”

In addition to piloting the intelligent-city enabling solution, the city will also pilot LightGrid, a wireless controls technology, which will provide energy savings
to the city. LightGrid allows for more efficient management of streetlights. With remote monitoring and GPS mapping, municipalities are able to instantly identify
usage and performance of street lights within specific locations.

The San Diego pilot scheme will see sensor technology added to existing GE smart LED streetlights, with a focus on parking solutions in its urban core.

In 2014, San Diego became the first U.S. city to widely use GE’s LED lighting fixtures with LightGrid outdoor wireless controls technology. The technology, deployed on more than 3,000 city street lights, saves the city more than $350,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs.

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