Tallahassee Smart City project to increase resident mobility
Tallahassee smart city project
This graph details a User-centered Heterogeneous Data Fusion for Multi-networked City Mobility, UHDNetCity (Tallahassee). (Photo: Courtesy of US Ignite)

Tallahassee Smart City project to increase resident mobility

Tallahassee smart city project is being run by researchers from Florida State University, in an ambitious program that will transform Tallahassee’s infrastructure.

Local residents in Tallahassee are set to benefit from an exciting, large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) project that will eventually transform the city’s infrastructure and urban mobility. Florida State University (FSU) is working alongside city officials to learn about and apply new techniques that will improve transport and power systems currently in place in Tallahassee.

FSU’s Tallahassee smart city initiative is part of ongoing work under the umbrella of 100 Resilient Cities, a movement funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Eventually, the project will enhance city-wide mobility management through predictive congestion technology, and help local businesses and residents avoid loss and disruption with more reliable utility services.

The project is very much for the long term and is currently still in the data gathering phase. The team from Florida State is seeking to create a tool that can collect ‘integrated heterogeneous data’ through urban infrastructure and social media platforms, allowing them to enhance citizen participation and define new ways to measure current levels of mobility.

“We are starting with using case studies to see where we are and what the current status of mobility is in Tallahassee,” said Reza Arghandeh, an FSU professor working on the project. “From this big picture, we will focus on specific neighborhoods in order to collect data from the site and then implement our algorithms, as we are taking a mathematical approach. The end goal will be the implementation of our model.”

FSU team taking a data-driven approach to Tallahassee smart city

“The City of Tallahassee has a very good infrastructure for data collection. We are in close collaboration with Florida’s Department of Transportation, the City of Tallahassee Utilities, and so on,” explains Reza. “They have been able to provide years of data in addition to the data in which we are gathering firsthand.  We want to have a representative sample of the city of Tallahassee.”

One such method of data collection is the city’s own social application, DigiTally, through which residents can report infrastructure issues and share breaking news. Information from sources such as this is helping the FSU team collaborate with city authorities.

Smart Cities “combine information into new services”

Speaking exclusively to Internet of Business, Ian Hughes, IoT analyst at 451 Research, pointed out the benefits that will inevitably come with more connected cities. “Once instrumented,” he said, “the system can combine sources of information to provide new services.”

For example: “Street lights instrumented can be remotely controlled and offer infrastructure for connectivity, which can be used by other devices installed on the lamp post. The street light can act as a parking space monitor for smart parking with a camera attached, or report levels of pollution or traffic for people to avoid,” he said.

Autonomous transport will also have a role to play in the smart cities of the future. “As vehicles become more autonomous they need to communicate with the infrastructure around them; an instrumented city will help guide that transportation more smoothly.”