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November 13, 2012

Taking Technology to the Streets of San Francisco



The streets of San Francisco are going “smart” starting this month, with a secure, integrated wireless communication monitoring and control system that will first be used to remotely manage the city’s lights – and in the future, is being considered as a control mechanism for a variety of urban services, including electric vehicle (EV) charging station data transmission, electric meter reading, street surveillance, traffic monitoring and more.

The SFPUC owns and maintains approximately 18,500 cobra-head-type high pressure sodium (HPS) luminaires, located throughout San Francisco’s 49 square miles. After the data communications system is installed, the SFPUC anticipates replacing the existing HPS street light luminaires with dimmable LED luminaires.

The initiative – officially known as the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) LED Streetlight Conversion Project – will start this month with the installation of the wireless communications and control system, from Novazzano, Switzerland-based Paradox Engineering SA, which offers advanced solutions for Smart Cities, industrial wireless sensor networks and global virtual networks.

In May 2012, Paradox Engineering won the prestigious Living Labs Global Award – offered by a group of major sponsors that comprises Oracle, Agile (News - Alert) Cities, City Mart, The Climate Group, the Global Compact Cities Programme and the City of San Francisco – by proposing that the SFPUC implement a multifunctional bidirectional 6LoWPAN and IPv6 wireless full mesh narrowband/broadband communication network to support, monitor and manage public lighting and other urban services.

Working closely with the SFPUC, Paradox Engineering will design, engineer and deliver the wireless communication monitoring and control platform – also providing technology and expertise to streamline the implementation of the network and its components.

In addition, Somerset, New Jersey-based Philips (News - Alert) Lighting will provide the network-compatible lighting solutions; and Redwood City, California-based Oracle will provide its City Platform to help manage and analyze data originating from this ground-breaking system.

The solution being implemented in San Francisco is entirely based on Paradox’s PE.AMI, the open standard platform featuring hardware (nodes and gateways), software and a Web-based management system for machine-to-machine, Smart Cities and utility applications.

The SFPUC preferred this platform out of several candidates because of its higher levels of scalability, interoperability and security. 


Image via Paradox Engineering

Fully compliant to the 6LoWPAN protocol, PE.AMI is a multipurpose technology – enabling the SFPUC to develop multiple applications on the same wireless network, without the need to build additional infrastructure for present and future services. Another key benefit of PE.AMI is the possibility to improve wireless communications by supporting both narrowband and broadband data traffic within the same gateway, thereby increasing data transmission and reliability among on-field devices and the remote server.

PE.AMI is an out-of-the-box, self configuring and self healing solution, so it is particularly easy to implement, maintain and manage. It is totally independent from devices and applications; therefore, the SFPUC will not be required to change or upgrade any of its deployed devices (meters, EV charging stations, luminaires).

Among other specific uses contemplated for the system in the future are the following:

Electric vehicle charging stations data transmission

  • Electric meter reading
  • Gunshot monitoring
  • Street surveillance
  • Public information broadcasts
  • Street parking monitoring devices
  • Traffic monitoring
  • Traffic signal control
  • Pollution monitoring

“The project we’re piloting with the SFPUC is highly innovative, since it puts into practice the new paradigm of the ‘Internet of Things,’ where any object can be associated with an IP address and integrated into a wider network to transmit and receive relevant information. The full interoperability granted by Paradox Engineering's solutions…ensures [that] one network can deliver multiple urban applications and services,” stated Gianni Minetti, president and CEO, Paradox Engineering.


Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.



Edited by Braden Becker

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