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Friday, June 14, 2024

Philadelphia’s smart streetlight pilot aims to emphasize transparency

Diving Summary:

  • The city of Philadelphia recently launched a year-long pilot of smart streetlights that will gather information on local pedestrian traffic, street activity and the surrounding area.
  • God SmartBlockPHL The program will collect real-time data that counts people and objects, monitors air quality and monitors weather conditions using fourteen smart streetlights in the village of Midtown. The pilot is intended to compile metadata only, and not to collect or store personally identifiable information.
  • The pilot arrives at no cost to the city except Of installing street lamps, According to Philadelphia’s smart city manager Emily Yates, because it’s the result of a partnership that landed US Ignite with Comcast. Technology provider Juganu is also collaborating with the city to provide the smart streetlights, which include optical and environmental sensors inside the lighting fixtures.

Insight for diving

Streetlights accumulate steam as a crucial component in the smart city landscape. LED streetlights are expected to become $ 28.1 billion market opportunity Within this decade.

As more cities make the transition to technology like LED streetlights, there is also an opportunity for local leaders to gain more real-time data collection capacity through this new infrastructure, Yates said. Streetlights are really the “backbone” for the ability to deploy different sensors, she said.

But just as there is a lot of excitement about the possibility of smart streetlights, there is also a lot of caution, according to Yates.

Cost is one concern, she said, as local leaders do not want to acquire technology that will be outdated in a few years.

Privacy is also a significant area of ​​concern for leaders and residents alike, with the former San Diego Smart Streetlight Program offering a warning story to cities. September 2020, San Diego Turn off his controversial smart streetlights Following a push from residents and activists regarding surveillance and how law enforcement agencies will use the technology.

Yates said Philadelphia was preparing to prevent a similar situation from occurring. Part of this preparation included setting up a SmartCityPHL task force that includes eight diverse and independent subject matter experts who will review the city’s data management practices while consulting throughout the project. These task force meetings will also be available to the public. The municipality also intends to share information about the initiative with community groups through presentations and the project website.

The site describes the pilot approach to privacy protection, including detailing the type of data to be collected and how it is used, Through frequently asked public questions. Yates explained that signage is placed at each entrance along the pilot corridor with a QR code and people are welcome to contact the municipality by email with questions or concerns.

Yates said the Philadelphia staff teamed up with local leaders from other cities to learn how different municipalities navigate data collection thanks to the way and protect residents’ privacy. One conversation that stood out, she said, was people Former Boston Chief Information Officer Jascha Franklin-Hodge who emphasized helping to cultivate community trust through simple, clear and transparent web pages.


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