Urban sensors are often used to monitor illegal activity — from identifying drivers that run red lights to generating predictive crime maps — but they can also collect data for quality-of-life improvements like reducing emissions and preventing car accidents.
The big picture: Municipalities could use anonymized, secure sensor data in combination with advanced computing to better understand how people travel through and use public space, without sacrificing individual privacy.
What’s happening: Academic researchers and urban planners can leverage the latest sensors — including “camera-as-sensor” technologies, which convert a camera’s optical image into an electronic signal — to gather and share insights about roads, intersections and public spaces.
Yes, but: Ensuring the data collected is protected and anonymized will be crucial to earning public trust in these efforts.
Details: These projects rely on a combination of video streams, computer vision, AI, and edge computing (computing done near the data source, not in the cloud).
Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University collaborated with Urban Data Eye and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to identify pedestrian movement patterns based on CCTV footage and live-streaming.