Kansas City rolls out online map using traffic, parking data from sensors

0 Posted by - 8th February 2017 - Technology

One of the trickiest parts of proving the value of emerging smart city technology is showing how city residents could benefit from data being picked up by sensors located in such areas as on light poles and along streets.

On Tuesday, officials in Kansas City, Mo., took steps to connect how such real-time data gathered by sensors provides benefits to its citizens.

City officials unveiled an online interactive map for the public that shows available parking, traffic and KC Streetcar locations in real time with data gathered from 122 video sensors along a two-mile segment of Main Street in the downtown.

Also, at a press conference on the same day, a city contractor asked the Alexa voice service running on an Amazon Echo device which city’s buses were running late. In the demonstration, Alexa was able to come back with an answer naming the top five late buses by correlating bus routes with an array of available data.

The new interactive map and the Alexa demonstration help show how Kansas City is realizing the promise of $15 million in smart city initiatives, which launched nine months ago along with the KC Streetcar, city officials said.

“Smart city sensors and digital tools are cool, but understanding how to use these tools and the data that they generate bridges the gap between cool and smart,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said at the event.

The city said its data from sensors will help the city run more efficiently. That data, plus free public Wi-Fi and interactive kiosks along the streetcar segment, make Kansas City the “most connected city in North America,” the city claimed.

The interactive online map is operated by city contractor Xaqt, a Chicago-based company that provides integrated intelligence and collaboration tools for cities.

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