Luxury buildings in the Miracle Mile area of Coral Gables. 

Jul 29 2021

Coral Gables, Fla., Uses Data Analytics in New Smart City Projects

The city also has made progress on rolling out new smart poles that combine sensors and connectivity.

Coral Gables, Fla., one of StateTech’s smart cities to watch, is advancing its use of data analytics for smart city services. The city is also moving ahead with plans to deploy a new kind of smart streetlight that combines different forms of sensors and connectivity for the public.

According to an internal update from the city’s IT department, the city recently “implemented a new Urban Services Analytics Artificial Intelligence Platform” from smart city data analytics firm Quantela.

The platform replaced the city’s previous Internet of Things sensor data dashboards and aids in the city’s “implementation of a smart city horizontal integration model,” according to the update. The new public dashboards of this system are published on the Coral Gables Smart City Hub public platform and show “real-time vehicle and pedestrian traffic data with added data visualization and integration tools and application programming interfaces (APIs), which will be augmented with other automation and analytics capabilities from this robust technology,” according to the city.

New Data Platform Helps with Public Safety

“All that data has to be aggregated and analyzed in one central cloud repository because that’s how you get the most value from it — the actionable value for first responders, traffic engineers, for urban planners or for the public in general,” Raimundo Rodulfo, IT director and chief innovation officer for the city, tells GCN.

Coral Gables used the new data analytics platform when it activated its emergency operations center in preparation for the landfall of Tropical Storm Elsa in July, according to GCN. Data from sensors that monitor water levels in the city’s canals as well as the amount of traffic in hurricane evacuation zones flowed into the dashboard, the publication reports.

Coral Gables has continued deploying advanced technology and analytics for mobility research, according to the city’s internal update, including a recent multimodal traffic study. The city used computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and leverages IoT sensors, fixed and mobile CCTV cameras and other tools to “conduct automated detection, classification, analysis, and computation both at the edge and in the cloud, training computer vision engines with machine learning algorithms to improve the accuracy of the counts.”

The Public Works Department leveraged the new platform “to understand patterns, behavior and the amount of traffic in a given intersection,” GCN reports, enabling the city to make improvements.

MORE FROM STATETECH: Find out how smart cities may grow in the years ahead.

Coral Gables Deploys New Smart Pole

Rodulfo told StateTech in 2020 that the city was looking to unveil a new smart streetlight that would consolidate into a single pole smart city technologies such as 5G antennas, traffic cameras and Wi-Fi hotspots.

In the city’s downtown innovation district, where it has been testing technologies for the past six years, there are Wi-Fi hotspots and antennas, optical and traffic sensors, license plate readers, and smart lighting controllers. However, all of those are siloed, so the city started piloting a new engineered-pole concept that would be aesthetically pleasing but capable of housing all the technologies in one system.

In June, according to the update, the city deployed its first smart city pole from Ekin Smart City Solutions at a pilot location on the financial corridor in downtown Coral Gables. The custom-made pole incorporates the city’s engineering standards and Florida building code wind load requirements and meets city interoperability requirements for telecommunications and sensor technology.

The pole combines free public Wi-Fi, a CCTV camera, traffic and safety sensors, environmental sensors (air quality, noise, weather), computer vision, and AI IoT edge analytics and alerts.

According to the city’s update, the pole started to provide live video and real-time analytics to the Coral Gables Smart City Hub public platform, the city’s Urban Analytics IoT AI platform, and the city’s Community Intelligence Center and Emergency Operations Center.

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