Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

New ‘smart city’ 5G technology to be installed in Kelowna next week

‘This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city’ - Mayor Colin Basran

New 5G sensors will be installed in Kelowna next week as part of a ‘smart city’ pilot project anonymously tracking peoples’ movement around downtown Kelowna.

Wireless internet-connected LiDAR sensors, which capture low-resolution data incapable of capturing identifying details, will be installed at Bernard Avenue’s intersections with Water and Pandosy streets. The sensors will capture data on vehicle and foot traffic patterns, which will be used by UBC research students to help find ways to improve vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Unlike traffic cameras, LiDAR will capture consistent data over the course of a 24-hour period, regardless of changes in lighting or weather.

In a release, the city said it has plans to install more sensors at three additional intersections along Bernard later this year.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“Transportation has always been a top concern for our citizens and one of council’s priorities. As we grow, we need to better understand what these travel interactions look like and how can we ensure the safe management of everyone using our streets, curbsides, sidewalks and pathways.”

This pilot project is part of research being done by UBC through a partnership with Rogers to study 5G applications and develop smarter and safer cities through made-in-Canada solutions. The city has dubbed it Canada’s “first real-world 5G smart city solution.”

The idea came forward from a UBC Hackathon in March, where they looked at several ways new technologies and improved wireless connectivity could help Kelowna improve movement around the city.

READ MORE: Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

READ MORE: Bernard Avenue will be closed to vehicles this summer

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City of Kelowna