August 18, 2020 -Today, cities need to be laser focused on what’s happening on their streets. Officials need real-time information to address urgent issues, while collecting and storing data to identify trends that will drive future decisions to ensure the safety of pedestrians and aid businesses, especially in these uncertain times. However, cities are grappling with how to get this information, and if they have access to any of it, it is not in one place and actionable.
In plain view, the street light pole holds the answer to a city’s problems. As the most prevalent real estate in any city, the street light pole provides the opportunity to place a wide variety of devices such as traffic cameras, noise detection systems, air quality monitors, electronic signage, and more on the light pole. However, before these devices can get fully operational there are several things the city has to think through. They need to be powered, they need to be metered, if the city does not own the streetlights they need to understand the permitting process. Once the city gets through these, they need to worry about how to collect, manage and use the vast data collected from these devices in one place. The answer to all these questions is CIMCON’s NearSky smart city platform.
By providing Power, Permitting and Processing in a single device, the NearSky platform removes the friction associated with opening up the streets. Connected to the light pole through the NearSky 360 device, the platform solves the issue of “power” by providing utility grade metering that is capable of measuring the energy consumed by sensors connected to the NearSky 360 device. The platform mitigates the need for special permitting by removing the need to drill into and modify the street light pole to access a power supply, thereby simplifying device installation and application deployment. Cities further benefit from an onboard processor in the Nearsky 360 device that provides data and access for 3rd party developers to create innovative applications that meet specific needs of cities as they begin and continue to open their streets with constantly changing conditions. The platform’s data transport service enables data from all sensors integrated into the platform to be stored, enriched and visualized, thereby giving cities peace of mind as they safely open their streets.
Let’s look at an example of the NearSky platform in action.
A city is concerned about how social distancing orders are being followed by pedestrians, while trying to simultaneously figure out how to safely restart businesses, like restaurants to reignite the economy. Yet, it doesn’t have the data needed to make the best-informed decisions. The NearSky platform provides the answer. Bringing together applications like people counting and traffic analytics from cameras mounted on street light poles, the NearSky platform lets the city easily see how many people are on a sidewalk and are they social distancing as required throughout the day? If not, does the opportunity to extend the sideway into the street due to low vehicle traffic exist? Or can a street be safely closed to allow restaurants to extend dining out onto the sidewalk? The NearSky platform lets the city access the data needed to make these decisions in one place at any time, so as circumstances change, appropriate decisions can be made. And most importantly residents can feel more assured that their city is making thoroughly informed decisions about their safety and comfort as businesses and activities are reopened.