Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 3, 2019

Mayor Berke, UTC unveil ML King smart city corridor




Mayor Andy Berke, along with UTC’s Mina Sartipi and Chancellor Steven Angle, have unveiled a smart city research tool that’s been installed along Martin Luther King Boulevard in Chattanooga.

The tool, called the ML King Smart City Corridor, is located on the stretch of MLK from Market Street to Central Avenue. It consists of sensors installed at eight existing traffic intersections. The sensors can measure traffic flow, air quality, pedestrian paths and more.

There will be many uses for the data collected, beginning with applications for driver and pedestrian safety, says Sartipi, who heads UTC’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress, the department that’s leading the corridor’s development. “How are we using the streets? How safe are the streets?” asks Sartipi.

During a live demonstration, Sartipi showed a video feed from the cameras on the poles and demonstrated how the picture quality is degraded to protect the identity of the cars and people.

She added that none of the video footage is stored. Sartipi also explained how the Smart City Corridor could give researchers the infrastructure needed to study things like public safety, the connection between traffic and air pollution and other areas that could improve citizens’ lives.

The ML King Smart City Corridor was built through a partnership between UTC, EPB, the City of Chattanooga and The Enterprise Center.

“This is one of the very few urban testbeds in the nation,” Sartipi says. “This is the sandbox for our smart city projects.”

Mayor Berke says this kind of infrastructure will make Chattanooga a destination for researchers from all over who are seeking to improve city life.

“How do we make this an even greater city for creators?” Mayor Berke asked. “Whatever problem you’re trying to solve, we want Chattanooga to be the place you come.”

Angle added that the ML King Smart City Corridor is not only an asset for the Chattanooga community, but for UTC students.

“The students involved in this project are helping to define the future,” said Angle.

Sections of the ML King Smart Community Corridor have been running since January. UTC professors and students and researchers from other parts of the country have already used it.

Source: The Enterprise Center