Street lights are being equipped with microphones to detect accidents and alert the authorities.

By doing so, the response times of emergency vehicles is improved as these are able to arrive at the scene of a crash sooner than before. Every second counts after an accident, so if an ambulance can get there quicker, it can provide the necessary aid and reduce the risks of more serious injuries as well as deaths whenever there are more severe crashes.

Los Angeles, which is currently the venue of a major auto show, is already one of the smartest cities in the world and now the local authorities are taking a step further in a bid to boost public safety by providing faster support services in one’s hour of need. With help from Philips, some light poles in the City of Angels have been equipped with microphones capable of monitoring the ambient sound in select parts of the city as a way to effectively “listen” to the traffic and obtain “a very articulated and diverse reading of the urban soundscape,” according to Dietmar Offenhuber, assistant professor at Northeastern University.

With more than 200,000 street lights installed throughout the city, L.A. currently has one of the largest street-lighting networks in the world and the data obtained during the pilot program from the light poles by using microphones will be able to increase the value of street lighting, according to Ed Ebrahimian, director of the Bureau of Street Lighting for the City of Los Angeles.

This latest move comes after last year when the authorities kicked off a program to implement a smart connected street lighting management system also created by Philips. Called “CityTouch,” it combines local mobile networks with cloud-based technologies to optimize street lights and at the same time monitor the use of energy of each light pole as well as the noise pollution.

Source: Lux Review

Photo: Stig Nygaard / Flickr

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