Portland’s Traffic Sensor Safety Project
- A consortium under the City IQ banner of AT&T, Intel, and Current by GE will work with Portland General Electric on the project
- They are installing 200 sensors on street lights in three deadliest streets of Portland
- The devices combine cameras, microphones, and environmental sensors, which can identify pedestrians, cars, and cyclists, help pinpoint the location of gunshots, and sniff for pollutants
- The project will cost over $1 million
Three deadliest streets of Portland, Oregon, will be monitored closely, around-the-clock by 200 sensors. Mounted on street lights, these sensors will provide real time information on vehicles, pedestrians, vehicle speeds, etc. With this new data, city officials hope to support Portland’s Vision Zero goal of making the streets safe for everyone.
Dubbed the Traffic Sensor Safety Project, the city announced Monday that a consortium under the City IQ banner of AT&T, Intel, and Current by GE will work with Portland General Electric on this initiative.
“We are at the forefront of using advanced technology to make our cities safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, helping people more easily get around, save time and reduce the possibility of crashes,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “This pilot is a significant step in acquiring and utilizing data to make critical decisions.”
The project is part of Smart City PDX. The same consortium is also at work deploying thousands of sensing devices in San Diego.
Michael Zeto, VP of AT&T IoT and General Manager of Smart Cities, told media that the devices combine cameras, microphones, and environmental sensors, which can identify pedestrians, cars, and cyclists, help pinpoint the location of gunshots, and sniff for pollutants.
With privacy a paramount concern, the City IQ devices will retain no video. In fact, they won’t even pass video over a network. Instead, Zeto said, they use onboard computer-vision software to identify objects and pass just that resulting analysis on.
The focus will be to help move towards Vision Zero goal, a global name for changes in traffic flow and management intended to reduce traffic impacts, accidents, and fatalities dramatically. The city hopes a deeply granular, automatic, continuous, and real-time stream of data will help it better understand what’s not working.
In addition to improved data insights, the City IQ open platform is designed to handle future growth using the exact street lighting infrastructure, so Portland can continue adapting and developing new applications that meet the specific needs of the city and its residents.
“Portland is a great example of how every city is able to tailor their solution to meet specific challenges and opportunities,” said Austin Ashe, Smart Cities General Manager for Current by GE. “For example, we will be working with Portland to extract bicycle data to better understand the bicycle traffic volume and cyclists’ interactions with vehicle and pedestrian traffic to improve safety for all.”