Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities
We already know that Auburn Hills is a “Smart City” – given the large population of students pursuing higher education and the numerous high-tech employees working at businesses within its municipal boundaries. Nonetheless, Auburn Hills is becoming an even smarter City with improved technologies.
A “Smart City” uses data and integrates information to allow it to interact with the community, its infrastructure, and monitor what is happening in the City and how it is evolving. Smart and connected communities address preservation, revitalization, livability, sustainability, and public safety. Technology integration leads to a number of benefits, including enhanced connectivity, and improved living conditions.
Five ways Auburn Hills is “smart” are the following:
Primary Street Public Parking Structure: The parking structure in Downtown behind the Auburn Square Apartments is open and available to the public, and it’s smart! The lights in the structure sense when people or cars are traveling throughout. The lights only illuminate if they detect movement. This initiative conserves energy and keeps people safe in the structure.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Recently, the City replaced its outdated electric vehicle charging stations for newer Chargepoint models. Chargepoint operates the largest and most open electric vehicle charging network. They have an application that allows you to track your vehicle’s charge, or see where open parking spaces are around town. The stations have 24/7 driver support and work right from an app on your smartphone. These stations are helping with parking and transportation all over Auburn Hills.
The Singing Street Lights: If you haven’t been Downtown in a while, check out the great feature our streetlights have. All of the streetlights Downtown are equipped with a speaker that plays music. It creates a great ambiance. These lights are part of a larger digital infrastructure that controls energy management, security, and outdoor media. The speaker system can play music for any occasion, as well as make announcements about severe weather, or the times for our Downtown concert series.
Irrigation Systems: Environmental monitoring is an important part of a smart and sustainable community. Auburn Hills has an irrigation system in place for its properties that monitors the moisture in the ground. The system is only activated when necessary, allowing for the greatest efficiency of both its water resources and tax dollars.
Downtown WiFi: If you are walking around outside in Downtown, check your phone’s network. Instead of draining your data by staying connected to 4G or LTE, you can access your favorite apps and sites using the Free Downtown WiFi. We know how important it is for our residents and visitors to always be connected, so we help them achieve that goal!
Soon we will begin to see technologies around the community emerge for connected cars, autonomous vehicles, and an even greater focus on community mobility for everyone. People have more power and technology at the tips of their fingers than ever before. Our City will need to continue to adapt to the needs of its residents and new technology.
Auburn Hills is off to a great start with connected technologies and its staff is working hard to meet the needs of the public by always providing efficient and fiscally responsible services to its citizens.