Cities keep getting smarter. SC Media examined a few of the top smart cities in 2018 and some of steps they are taking to secure their data.
San Diego joined the public-private group focused on cybersecurity awareness, Securing Our eCity, back in 2010 in a cooperative partnership. With more than 200 members, including representatives from the Office of the Mayor, Department of IT and the Police Department; local; state and federal public agencies; public and private educational institutions; local private sector companies; and stakeholders from the community.
The city is replacing 14,000 streetlights with more energy efficient versions that allows for dimming and brightening in public venues manually or automatically, depending on natural light conditions, in a move that will reduce energy costs by 60 percent. The city also partnered with GE to install 3,200 sensor nodes across the city to create a smart network that can be used to help optimize parking and traffic, enhance public safety, and track air quality.
In addition, anonymous information collected from the sensors can be used by developers to create apps and software that can benefit the community. There is also a possibility the city will install another 3,000 sensors in the future.
Let’s keep Austin weird – and smart. The Texas capital is adapting smart technology as it prepares for a world of autonomous and connected cars. The city has implemented the use of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) technology at five city intersections, with more projects planned for completion next year. The technology allows connected vehicles to communicate in real time with the traffic signal controller with the goal of increasing pedestrian and vehicle safety.
These signals have the ability to broadcast industry standard Basic Safety Messages in the immediate vicinity of the intersection to surrounding vehicles equipped with on-board units. These messages will indicate vehicle position, motion, brake system status and size, and provide vehicles with SPaT information as well as MAP data, which is used to illustrate intersection geometry using high-resolution formatting.
This data will also help alert future connected vehicles and connected traffic signals to the presence of pedestrian or bicyclist in the intersection, improve vehicle performance, and provide traffic data to engineers that can be used to improve safety and operations.
The city of Los Angeles is exploring a partnership with AT&T that would make it one of the smartest cities in the country. The project would deploy IoT and small cell technology across the City of Angels to support a variety of smart systems such as digital kiosks, structural monitoring, digital infrastructure and emergency services.
AT&T claims the technology will offer connectivity to neighborhoods on the wrong side of the digital divide.
“Access to information is the foundation of equality, opportunity, and prosperity,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “We are establishing unique partnerships as we deploy new networks and technologies across L.A. — and we’re excited to be discussing with AT&T how to empower Angelenos with new tools that could make their lives easier and our communities stronger.”
The technology will also be used to build out and bring The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) communications to the city’s first responders.
The city of Boston is working with Verizon Wireless as part of its Vision Zero effort to test data gathering technology, video cameras, LED lights, under road sensors, and a web-based platform for data analysis, visuals and reporting.
The city is testing the use of video cameras and accompanying sensors that will record data on vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists traveling through the intersection via systems mounted on poles right at the intersection. This information will be aggregated and counted anonymously meaning it won’t have a specific person’s specific information attached to it.
The data will first be sent to Verizon and then made available to the city. The city will not store or have access to video footage, only counts of events (such as the number of cars passing through) during specific periods of time.
Neither the city nor Verizon will use license plate readers or biometric software and the video will not be used to track individual people, issue traffic tickets, or help law enforcement investigations, unless it’s required by law or a court order.
While Atlanta is still recovering from a massive SamSam ransomware attack that cost the city more than $12 million to get all of its systems back online, it is still moving forward with its initiative to bring the city into the future with its SmartATL initiative.
The initiative will include several projects which will implement IoT devices and sensors to collect and help better regulate the city’s lighting, public safety, waste management and water management. The city will implement shot-spotter IoT acoustic sensor technology in high crime zones across the city and deploy an online gunshot detection dashboard to dispatch officers based on real-time validated gunshot activity.
The project also includes the uses of a newly built machine learning algorithm to find hidden correlations across all historical and active case reports. To better manage waste management and encourage more recycling, the city will install RFID readers on all collection vehicles to optimize routing safety and service quality and leverage data to drive recycling improvement campaigns to target areas with low participation.
The city will also use IoT sensors on select manholes to monitor flow levels and wastewater flow levels. Hopefully, the city will take advantage of the talent produced by the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, Ga., which looks to improve cybersecurity in the entire state.