in 2016. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Atlanta, Georgia’s urban center, is attempting to make the city safer using . Posted on street lamps around the city, these sensors work in conjunction with existing video cameras to monitor crime. What makes the sensors unique is that they capture gunshots’ sound and can be used to triangulate a crime’s location locate victims, and recover evidence.
The acoustic sensors in Atlanta are ancurrently in use on the battlefield. In combat situations, these sensors, which can be attached to vehicles, helmets, and even drones, can be used to identify unseen threats, such as distant gunshots, helicopter movement, or even people speaking out of sight. Though urban acoustic sensors are intended to aid in response to crimes, they may also have preventive capabilities that could be used in the future.
Watching Over Waste
Smart city technologies are usually thought to emphasize traditional surveillance, using tools like facial recognition technology to identify individuals wanted for crimes, monitor human traffic patterns, and review who was present during an act of terrorism. In reality, though, a significant portion of smart city technology is dedicated to monitoring resource use and reducing waste in large cities.
Why put such an emphasis on resource use? One reason is that monitoring of this sort helps cities develop better public policy. In New York City, for example, thethroughout the city. Based on subsequent analysis, researchers determined that taxi-sharing services could cut the number of trips by 40%, offering the city the potential to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
Small Cities Think Big
Though most sensor technology is currently in use in big cities, smaller areas are also interested in implementing the technology – and it would be a smart investment. In fact, considering the potential cost savings associated with sensor technology, anywould really be a reinvestment in the city itself. For example, Columbus, Ohio, a city of just over 800,000 people, won the 2016 Smart City Challenge sponsored by the US Department of Transportation and was also . Columbus is proof that a city doesn’t have to be big to be technologically advanced.
Small cities need to begin installing basic smart city infrastructures like motion sensor lighting, intelligent signage, and EV charging stations if they’re going to maintain economic growth in the future. These are the simple improvements that will attract businesses, creative class members, and young residents – because sensor technology isn’t just about safety. These are the tools of a thoroughly modern city, and without them, smaller areas will be left behind.