The City of Kelowna has agreed to be a pilot “5G smart city” — beginning with monitoring pedestrian and vehicle traffic. This is the type of “smart city” that Toronto rejected, based on concerns that privacy would be invaded. So why is Kelowna doing this?  People need to get organized and look at this by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Smart city pilot project in downtown Kelowna explores ways to improve how we move around

“5G isn’t just the next G – it will truly transform how we live and work with new applications and solutions that are being built through collaborations with industry, government and universities,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications. “We are focused on bringing together the right partners to build a strong 5G ecosystem and this pilot with UBC and the City of Kelowna will serve as a blueprint for the development of made-in-Canada 5G smart city technology.”

Unlike traffic cameras, LiDAR captures consistent data over the course of a 24-hour period, regardless of changes in lighting or weather, and the resolution of the data is insufficient to capture or reveal identifying details about people or permit facial recognition. The Kelowna smart city project uses these wireless sensors and software from Blue City Technology to collect anonymous data (stored securely on Microsoft Azure) 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.

This pilot project is part of research being done by UBC through a partnership with Rogers


5G sensors will monitor movements around Kelowna’s downtown

Wayne Moore – May 28, 2020 / 1:53 pm

New 5G technology designed to anonymously track the movement of people, and vehicles, will be installed in Kelowna next week.

It’s part of a “smart city” pilot project partnership between Rogers Communications, the City of Kelowna and UBC.

Two light sensors, powered by the Rogers 5G network, will be installed at two downtown intersections next week, one at Bernard and Water Street, the other at Bernard and Pandosy Street. Three others will be installed later in the year.

The sensors, according to a city news release, will be connected to the internet, to help improve “management of resources and assets such as garbage collection, parking spaces and traffic systems.”

The company says the resolution is insufficient to capture or reveal identifying details about people or permit facial recognition.

In March. several UBC students were part of a “virtual hackathon,” designed to explore how technology could help the city find ways to improve how people move around downtown, and to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

One of the winning ideas from the hackathon is being implemented as a pilot project in downtown Kelowna.

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

“The hackathon and this pilot project are great ways to discover solutions developed by smart young minds.”

The pilot project is part of research being done by UBC, in partnership with Rogers, to study 5G applications, and develop smarter, and safer cities.

“Until now, detailed information about the way cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles move and behave in urban environments has been surprisingly difficult to collect and, importantly, share in real time,” said Professor David Michelson, lead researcher on the project and director of the AURORA connected vehicle test bed at UBC Vancouver.

“This is as close to a perfect academic, public sector and private enterprise partnership as one can imagine. None of us could have done this on our own.”