Smart City Digital Navigator
Working across Philadelphia’s large geographic footprint, leaders from the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) and Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (oTIS) depend on new technologies, applications, and services to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As residents and visitors in Philadelphia become more confident about returning to the community to shop, seek entertainment, and eat, City leaders are working to deploy data-driven initiatives that can support a safe reopening. Leveraging emerging technologies and new artificial intelligence tools, the City hopes to communicate information such as the use of face masks, the density of crowds, and social distancing behaviors with stakeholders and residents to facilitate a sense of trust and safety.
The Safety and Innovation Zone Demonstration Project will retrofit existing fiber-backed street light poles with optical sensors to deliver valuable insights into how pedestrians use public spaces. The data will provide new insights to residents and the public health community, and promote a spectrum of businesses by identifying patterns in peak and non-peak traffic. The anonymized data will be processed “at the edge,” and the analysis will be sent via metadata to the City. Essential to the project’s success, the City will collaborate with partners and residents to ensure privacy parameters, benchmarks, and protections are in place ahead of deployment. The project will adhere to a “privacy-by-design” philosophy that falls in line with the community’s privacy assessment framework.
In addition to the Innovation Zone Demonstration Project, the City of Philadelphia is one of three communities selected to host a competition event in 2021 for the Augmented Reality (AR) Developer Challenge produced by US Ignite and Facebook Reality Labs. The City will use the AR challenge to seek solutions to improve access to transportation options for individuals with diverse needs. By enabling equal access to reliable and affordable transportation, the City is working to address a key part of the system that connects residents to employment opportunities, health care, education, and community.