In Sacramento, we’ve deployed an intelligent asphalt pilot to create streets that are smarter and greener by easing traffic flow. We did this by embedding sensors into pavement and installing sensors in traffic lights, where we could study and analyze the flow of traffic. By making Sacramento’s asphalt “smart,” we can use the data to optimize the timing of lights to allow traffic to flow easier, travel times to shorten and decreases the amount of carbon dioxide released when cars idle in traffic congestion.
We see opportunities to build upon this pilot with 5G by leveraging video streaming wirelessly from HD cameras positioned on streetlights in the intersections. This raw video can then be processed with specialized video analytics in the multi-access edge compute to help detect, classify and track cars, bicyclists and pedestrians as they pass through the intersection, allowing for further improvement in congestion management and increased pedestrian safety.
What our 5G network promises is the bandwidth capacity to allow these types of use cases and others to deploy at scale, so instead of one or two roads, we have thousands, full towns and even entire cities amassing data to that can help toward the sustainability of our communities and benefit our daily lives.
We can also expect to see 5G used in a range of industries, from AR/VR and AI solutions to enhanced media and entertainment experiences and remote machine operations.
STATETECH: What spectrum bands and radio equipment will Verizon's 5G Smart Communities technology run on?
HARRINGTON: Verizon is using both 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum. We own a combination of both throughout the country.
STATETECH: How should cities plan, budget and prepare to use 5G as part of smart city deployments?
HARRINGTON: A critical step in preparing to use 5G as part of the smart city deployments is understanding a community’s data and specific needs. 5G has the flexibility to offer communities customized solutions to fit the lives of residents and the needs of local governments.
The 5G network will enable the transmission of vast amounts of data that can be analyzed and used in real time. Data and simplified processes to extrapolate, use and protect that data within a city is key to unlocking smart city technologies.
We are now beyond the stage where community leaders ask if smart city applications are right for the city. We’re at the stage where more and more urban centers are asking how to deploy the technology and how to finance the needed upgrades to a city to prepare it for the future.