New Living Lab Tests, Accelerates Intelligent City Solutions

Powertech and Current, powered by GE, team up on Intelligent Cities innovation lab and accelerator program in Surrey, one of world’s smartest communities

SURREY, BC, Canada—Feb. 9, 2016—City leaders wanting to learn about the promises of intelligent infrastructure have a new opportunity to experience and evaluate smart technologies, thanks to the launch of the Intelligent City Accelerator program and living lab at Powertech’s research campus in Surrey.

The accelerator program offers city leaders an assessment framework for prioritizing and de-risking Smart City objectives. It will provide the expertise and facilities for rapid prototyping and validation of technologies for high-priority use cases utilizing smart lighting, sensors, analytics and a real-time monitoring network. As part of the accelerator program’s living lab, researchers will test the latest connected municipal solutions and give city leaders a place to see and experience intelligent technologies firsthand.

The Intelligent LED solution by Current, powered by GE, will be the first on display. It features software and sensor-enabled LED lighting powered by Predix, GE’s cloud-based platform for the Industrial Internet, to help cities realize potential opportunities for reducing cost, optimizing operations and creating value for residents. 

For instance, parking downtown may be a pain, but not in the intelligent city of the future. Networked LED street lights will have the ability to direct drivers to available spaces with the help of built-in sensors and wireless transceivers. The same street light could serve as a sensor and give warnings in the event of severe weather or other event or help manage traffic and offer residents a faster route home.

Current’s intelligent street lights in San Diego.

To explore outcomes like these, Current’s intelligent street lights will be installed on Powertech’s campus, which is in the heart of one of the world’s smartest communities-Surrey.

“As one of the top seven intelligent communities in the world as named by the Intelligent Communities Forum, Surrey has created a multifaceted program that will leverage a smart infrastructure to save energy and taxpayer dollars,” says Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “We believe that the Intelligent City Accelerator at Powertech Labs will help us go further in understanding how truly intelligent infrastructure can advance our sustainability goals, increase public safety and improve services to the public, and help accelerate intelligent visions in other communities as well.”

Over time, Powertech and Current also plan to explore solutions for optimizing the use of renewable energy, such as adding intelligence and communication to electric vehicle charging, solar energy and energy storage infrastructure critical to tomorrow’s smarter cities.

The accelerator program is a joint initiative between the City of Surrey, Powertech and Simon Fraser University aimed at advancing the Smart Surrey Strategy.  

“The opportunities for research and development of new ideas utilizing Current’s Intelligent Cities solution will be important for our students, faculty and partners,” says Uwe Glässer, professor and dean pro tem, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Simon Fraser University. “We are pleased to welcome Current in this latest extension of Smart Surrey.”