Podcast E029 | How Is IoT Improving Transparency Between Smart Cities and Citizens? | Austin Ashe, GM of Current by GE

Podcast E029 | How Is IoT Improving Transparency Between Smart Cities and Citizens? | Austin Ashe, GM of Current by GE

#IoTMakers | E029

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On this IoT For All podcast episode, Austin Ashe, GM of Intelligent Cities at Current (Powered by GE), explains what “smart lighting” actually means. He also dives into GE’s strategy for moving from lighting to smart cities and how it’s helping to improve urban transparency.

Austin shares with us how Current utilizes the data collected from their light pole installations to build solutions for cities and how that data is used to empower citizens to get involved in their city. We talk about the important role Current has played (and continues to play) in making San Diego one of the world’s largest Smart City projects.

Episode 29 concludes with Austin revisiting the definition of a “smart city,” reflecting on how it has evolved and how utility companies are today becoming increasingly involved in building smart cities. We end our conversation with Austin exploring the question of why cities are hesitant to deploy connected solutions. And we close with some advice on how to overcome the fears and challenges that surround a smart city transformation project.

If you’re interested in connecting with Austin, check out his LinkedIn!

About Current Powered by GE: Current is the digital engine for intelligent environments. Current blends advanced LED technology with networked sensors and software to make commercial buildings, retail stores, industrial facilities and cities more energy efficient & productive. Backed by a broad ecosystem of technology partners, Current is helping businesses and cities unlock hidden value and realize the potential of their environments.

Key Question and Topics from this Episode:

(05:10) What was the strategy behind the decision to go from Lighting into Smart Cities for GE?

(06:55) Why light poles are the perfect incubation bed for an IoT business

(09:50) What type of data is Current collecting and how is that data being used to benefit cities thought the building of solutions?

(10:40) Smart Phone <> Smart City Platform analogy

(17:45) How is IoT helping improve the transparency between citizen and city?

(20:00) How are GE/Cities approaching security aspects with an open platform approach?

(24:38) What smart lighting really means, what are some interesting applications and what industries are showing the most traction?

(28:05) An overview of the City of San Diego smart city project, how it came about, the overall goals, the ROI, etc.

(32:50) Roadblocks when working with the city government and lessons learned

(39:00) What makes a city ripe for a successful connected deployment?

(41:13) How is the projected growth in urban population density taken into consideration when thinking about IoT deployments?

(44:37) How has the definition of “Smart City” changed and what are the main reasons behind cities hesitating to add connected solutions?

(48:06) How utility companies are getting more involved in the smart city space

(50:10) Next phases for the City of San Diego project

(52:05) Advice for cities on how connected solutions can benefit them and their citizens

(55:05) Contact information for follow up questions

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