Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Smart Streetlights

PostedJune 18, 2017

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LEDE: The District is working to secure its place as a frontrunner in the movement towards “smart cities,” one L-E-D bulb at a time.

 Randy Atkins: Washington D-C is testing “smart streetlights” in a 3-square-block area, with plans to install them citywide. Archana Vemulapalli, D-C’s Chief Technology Officer, says the lights not only use energy-efficient bulbs but are actively engineered to conserve energy.

 Archana Vemulapalli: There’s a proximity sensor, so when a vehicle or a pedestrian gets within a certain range, you can set it to where the light brightens up, or it dims down if there is nobody on the street.

 Randy Atkins: She says the streetlights can alert maintenance crews when they go out…and might even help you find parking.

 Archana Vemulapalli: We have a low-grade video camera that could look at when the spots are available, and we can build that into a parking app.

 Randy Atkins: Other streetlight add-ons could include Wi-Fi and pollution monitoring sensors.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.