Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GE and SST to embed gunshot detection in smart street lights

Steve Rogerson
October 13, 2015
Cities and their emergency responders will soon have a way to deploy gunshot detection technology and be able to respond to incidents and react faster to protect their residents. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between GE Lighting and SST, developer of the ShotSpotter crime detection and location suite, lays ground to embedding ShotSpotter technology into GE’s intelligent LED street lights.
The proposed arrangement intends to add real-time gunfire detection from ShotSpotter to GE’s Intelligent Environments for Cities, which features software and sensor-enabled LED lighting powered by the GE Predix cloud-based platform for the industrial internet to help cities realise potential for reducing cost, optimising operations and creating value.
“We’ve entered an era where lighting is so much more than illumination,” said Rick Freeman, global product general manager at GE Lighting. “The ecosystem we are building with our Intelligent Environments for Cities is transforming street lighting into the analytical brain of urban life, and this MoU with ShotSpotter gives one more option for cities to unlock new potential benefits for their city teams and their residents.”
Communities most affected by gunfire are least likely to call it in. It is estimated that one in ten shooting incidents in the USA results in a call to the emergency services, and when calls do come in, the information is often inaccurate.
Through its proprietary acoustic sensors and enterprise-grade software, ShotSpotter detects and locates gunfire in real time. Alerts are then broadcast to emergency service dispatch centres, patrol cars and even smart phones, with the precise location, number of rounds fired, multiple or single shooters, and other valuable situational intelligence. These alerts enable first responders to get on scene quickly and safely to aid victims, collect evidence and quickly apprehend offenders.
ShotSpotter is already driving meaningful outcomes in cities today. Embedding the technology in GE’s Intelligent Environments for Cities will take its benefits one step further by building into a city’s existing infrastructure and by leveraging the GE Predix cloud. With sensors embedded into lighting fixtures throughout a city, much broader coverage areas will be available on a cost-affordable basis.
“ShotSpotter is a proven tool in helping cities across the country address chronic gun violence issues,” said Ralph Clark, president and CEO of California-based SST. “The city of San Francisco, for example, reports an approximate 50 per cent decrease in recorded firearms violence since deploying ShotSpotter as part of its gun violence abatement strategy. This partnership with GE will accelerate the adoption of this technology in other cities by integrating our solution into existing infrastructure in a more comprehensive way.”
In addition to the MoU with ShotSpotter, there are other opportunities within GE’s Intelligent Environments for Cities. For instance, city centre parking 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 streetlight 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.