Smart Cities Initiatives

portland as a 'smart city'

The City of Portland is working to make our community an innovation hub, a place where data and technology are used to improve people's lives and make interactions with city government more efficient. Below you will learn more about a few of the projects we're working on. 

LED Streetlights, smart traffic signals & public wifi

The City kicked off its first smart city project in January 2018 with the implementation of new LED street lights across the city. The project was made possible by the City's acquisition of its streetlights from Central Maine Power. Portland was the first city in Maine to do this under the provisions of a state law that was enacted in 2013. The City partnered with TEN Connected Solutions and Bernstein Shur to complete the ownership transfer and install the new LED fixtures. Buying the streetlights and converting them to LED provides the City with more than $1 million in savings annually. 

Following the installation of the new lights, the city was able to proceed with new smart traffic signals in Morrill's Corner that use artificial intelligence to predict and respond to road conditions in real time. Following a few months of use, data shows a 20% reduction in wait times at the Morrill's Corner intersection. The City plans to continue installing these signals along the Forest Ave corridor to improve traffic congestion. Additional technologies include public WiFi locations in the downtown district, new decorative lights on City Hall and Deering Oaks Pond, environmental sensors, and more EV charging stations. 

portland pilots inrix autonomous vehicle platform

In July 2018, the City announced it is a pilot member of INRIX AV Road Rules, a platform that lays the foundation for the city to communicate with operators for safe and effective deployment of Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) on public roads. INRIX AV Road Rules is the first platform that enables cities and road authorities to assign, validate and manage traffic rules and restrictions for autonomous vehicles operating on public roads. The platform also leverages HAV data about roads to report infrastructure improvement needs, making the roads safer for all users. Portland is one of seven cities across the country to pilot the program. 

INRIX AV Road Rules will help Portland take an important and concrete step to support the safe operation of HAV shuttles on city roads. The City can easily assign traffic restrictions and have those rules provided directly to vehicles, and will explore how the City shares information with vehicles and vice versa. It will provide the base for operators interested in piloting AVs on public streets by offering an important dataset that demonstrates Portland’s understanding of real-world deployment challenges.

Portland will work with INRIX to map the city as part of the first phase. Choosing a vendor for a HAV shuttle service will be a separate phase and will be based on several factors including past experience and costs. It is the City's hope that the use of an HAV shuttle will help mitigate traffic congestion on key corridors like Commercial Street and Franklin Street. 

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  1. Portland Hosts Autonomous Vehicle Public Forum - Join Us September 27 at 5 PM

    The City of Portland will host a public forum on Thursday, September 27, 2018 to discuss its pilot project with INRIX, and hear from experts about the deployment of Highly Automated Vehicle (HAV) shuttles on public roads. Read on...
  2. Portland One of Seven to Pilot New INRIX Autonomous Vehicle Platform

    The City is excited to announce it is one of seven cities and groups to pilot INRIX AV Road Rules, a platform that lays the foundation for the city to communicate with operators for safe and effective deployment of Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV)... Read on...
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