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Smart city case study: Orlando, Florida

Smart city projects touch on transportation, security and public safety

The City of Orlando approaches the smart operation of transportation, security and emergency management through Orlando Operations Center (OOC), an integrated facility established in 2001 by the mayor after the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season.

The major features of the integrated operation include the sharing of fiber optic networks and CCTV cameras and close cooperation between transport, police and fire departments for road, criminal and disaster incident, and the emergency operation center within the OOC taking the lead in the case of special event management and large-scale natural disasters.

The OOC operates as a smart city center through functions such as adaptive traffic signal control, remote CCTV management and city monitoring through display screen walls within OOC, 911 communications center system that harnesses CAD, EMD software and AVL technology, and incident information management and distribution through live camera feeds, VMS, SMS and smartphone alert services.

Along with the OOC, several departments within the city hall utilizes smart city functions such as red light violation enforcement through detectors and software, bus management through AVL technology, GPS garbage truck tracking, GIS water management through sensors and meters, as well as smart metering and analytics through advanced metering infrastructure.

The OOC and city hall departments also provide a wide range of smart services to citizens. This includes bus information service, parking information service, traffic information service, online reporting to police, emergency alert applications, smart waste information, automated waste trucks, pre-paid power pass program for utilities payment, GIS infomap for citizen and online education programs.

The traffic information of Orlando is available through “here” map that displays color-coded up-to-the-minute current traffic flow updates (light, moderate, heavy, stopped), delay information as well as live reports of accidents, road works and road closures, among other information.

Orlando also provides traffic flow and speed, road closure, construction and traffic monitoring CCTV images via News13 web page powered by Total Traffic and Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. This service facilitates drivers to make better route choices and save travel time.

City of Orlando also provides a parking information service through a mobile application called ‘Orlando parkIN’ where customers can locate information about parking including pricing, locations, operating hours and number of spaces available through interactive map.

Also, the “Solid Waste Pickup” tab in the Orlando Information Locator powered by Esri GIS mapping software provides information on garbage pickup days, recycling day, yard waste pickup day by location of the household.

Orlando began the procurement of hydraulic hybrid garbage trucks in December 2013 and aims to have technology in place that allow for recycling and energy development of most of the city’s waste production by 2018.

Another smart city initiatives includes the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)’s Power Pass, which is a program that allows customers to pay-as-you-go or pay in advance for utility services, offering the option of avoiding deposits, late fees and a monthly bill.

Statistics show that pay-before-consumption programs result in lower electricity and water usage because customers are more aware of their amount of consumption. Customers can check their electricity bill or water usage every day using the OUC Power Pass portal or receive alerts via text, email and/or smartphone.

Customers can view their utilities usage status via the online dashboard called ‘MyUsage’. On this website, customers can view daily energy charge chart for the last thirty days, daily account balance and unpaid balance. Alerts are sent to cell phone, smart phone, tablet or laptop when the balance is running low.

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