smart street lights (GE Current image)

San Diego preps largest smart city platform

As part of plans to create the largest city-based deployment of an internet-of-things platform in the world, San Diego has partnered with AT&T and GE Current to upgrade 14,000 street lights. The new LED lights also will house 3,200 GE Current CityIQ  sensor nodes that can act as gunshot detectors, find open parking spaces, measure air quality and track traffic flow of both vehicles and pedestrians.

GE’s Current unit combines the company’s lighting and energy storage businesses with its Predix predictive analytics platform. AT&T, a newly named reseller of GE Current technology,

will act as the data carrier for the San Diego deployment, which will provide access to real-time sensor data for future intelligent city applications and deliver is approximately $2.4 million in annual energy savings.

The city wants the data from the sensors to be used by developers to create apps and software.

“Repurposing San Diego’s lighting infrastructure in a way that allows the community to put their hands on the heartbeat and nervous system of the city is our way of building a smart city app store,” said David Graham, San Diego chief deputy operating officer.

The plan is to use the city’s current lighting infrastructure, but add capability through GE Current and AT&T’s Smart City services. The city said it is planning an additional 3,000 sensors to be installed in the future. GE Current is also working on a similar project with AT&T in Atlanta, according to an AT&T statement.

The installation is expected to begin this summer, with the project slated to finish next year.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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