We must leap, not stroll into the future. We must sprint, not jog. It will be this city that will be the Smart City of the world."
Mayor Sylvester Turner, May 2018
A message from Mayor Sylvester Turner
The City of Houston is using data and emerging tech to improve the quality of life for citizens, share information with the public, drive economic growth and build a more inclusive society.
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Public transit Wi-Fi keeps passengers connected and engaged on their routes and increases ridership for the city.
Improving the accuracy of GPS location devices on transit and giving riders better arrival information in real time, Microsoft and Metro are partnering to pilot Wi-Fi on public buses and light-rail as a service. The first installations will debut on Houston’s METRORail Purple Line and select bus routes.More on this project
Real-time data empowers drivers to find parking spots faster and more conveniently than ever before.
The City has secured a $3.2M grant to implement a parking guidance system (PGS) with dynamic message signs (DMS) in the Central Business District. The PGS will include seven parking facilities that will direct the public to available parking using real-time parking data displayed on the DMS and a mobile app.More on this project
A powerhouse of smart devices and real-time data helps manage Houston traffic on a comprehensive scale.
Houston has been awarded a grant to expand the HITS to monitor and manage traffic in real-time, improving public transit speed, information sharing and overall reliability. The expanded system will consist of digital traffic signs, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, traffic count stations, Bluetooth Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) sites, enhanced traffic detection locations and more.More on this project
More mobility options means less traffic congestion, convenient travel, better air quality and more.
Our city is implementing newer transit modes into Houston’s current dock-based system. By 2020, Houstonians will have more options to access the city with a modern transportation network that encourages exercise and cleaner air, and reduces car-related accidents for short distances within the city.More on this project
A modern take on parking meters promises more seamless parking, easier enforcement and cost savings for the city.
We’ve deployed more than 800 pay-by-plate parking meters, allowing our citizens to pay for parking with just a few taps on their smart phones. A mobile app lets users remotely add more time and receive text reminders prior to time expiring. This pay-by-phone system communicates with meters connected to the City’s enforcement systems. Houston is currently testing pay-by-phone zones without parking meters to reduce street furniture and maintenance and collections costs.More on this project
We’re managing our city’s parking inventory in real time to boost parking satisfaction while driving big efficiencies.
Using real-time data, this one-year pilot project will collect and analyze parking data throughout the city. This technology will help us track and measure the impact of parking policy decisions in real time, publish data-driven maps detailing parking fees and occupancy and more.More on this project
Research study addressing our environmentally-friendly vehicle replacement to modern electric vehicles.
Ice University is conducting research that will help the city’s Fleet Management Department replace City of Houston vehicles in the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Through this forward-thinking study, we are also aiming to build a plan to make all city non-emergency and passenger vehicles 100% electric.More on this project
Autonomous circulator system fast-tracks travel time, helps with traffic congestion and improves public transit accessibility.
In Spring 2019, Metro will deploy an autonomous campus transit circulator system on the Texas Southern University campus. This pilot will demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle use-cases for first-mile/last-mile connections to high-capacity transit.More on this project
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This collaborative hub enables ongoing testing and installation of the latest tech to keep our city safe.
The City of Houston is joining forces with emergency first responders, industry partners, private businesses and more to build a “living lab” for tech-powered solutions. This learning environment enables the installation of devices and software to benefit public safety, private security, traffic management, business and public operations. All products, resources and assets are provided “in kind” to reduce physical costs to the city.More on this project
This platform alerts authorities and the public during active emergencies, enabling safe passage — and safer communities.
From bomb threats to active shooters, Project Edison unifies data from cameras, sensors and other connected devices to enable safe passage and improve situational awareness when it matters most. Acoustic sensors and cameras alert authorities quickly, while smart lighting and locking systems help guide the public to safety. Project Edison is currently operating in select Houston school districts with plans to scale.More on this project
Firefighting in Houston is safer than ever with smart drones that assess conditions and identify hazards.
The Houston Fire Department is testing drone technology to help assess visual and thermal conditions at a fire, track personnel and identify hazards in the field. There are currently teams in drone pilot training, with estimated completion of training within the first half of 2019.More on this project
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A low-cost, high-impact solution from Houston’s brightest minds uses sensors to alert drivers of high-water conditions.
Houston researchers have built flood detection sensors for light poles and elevated surfaces to transmit data and quickly alert the public. The sensors are currently being tested on the Rice University campus with the goal to scale to areas with frequent localized street flooding. Data collected through these sensors will flow to TranStar, the city’s regional transportation hub.More on this project
A powerful network of monitors is keeping our citywide sewers in check and our city streets cleaner.
Houston’s broad network of 100 manhole flow monitors alert utility workers when a sanitary sewer outflow is likely, so preemptive action can be taken. With a goal to grow the network to more than 3,000 monitors citywide, the devices are currently on manholes with the highest recurring history of outflows.More on this project
Sensor-enabled vehicles monitor air pollutants throughout our city to embrace green environment initiatives.
The Environmental Defense Fund and the Houston Health Department have deployed mobile air quality sensors on vehicles to monitor pollutants and particulates throughout the city. These vehicles are being used to conduct investigations on businesses that emit air pollutants and supplement our existing network of air quality monitors.More on this project
The nation's first large-scale water technology demonstration hub is testing and showcasing innovative solutions to water and wastewater challenges.
Houston Public Works has partnered with Accelerate H2O, a non-profit water technology accelerator, to launch a demonstration site for emerging technologies in water - drinking, waste and storm/flood management. Leveraging the nation's 3rd largest water utility, the partnership has conducted a worldwide Request for Proposals and is in the process of deploying over a dozen solutions that aim to improve the efficiency and resiliency of our water systems.More on this project
Cutting-edge filtration systems and air monitors work together to purify polluted air protecting neighboring communities.
Rice University and the Houston Health Department have collaborated to install air filtration systems and air quality monitors on the overpasses of bridges along the US-59 corridor between Spur 527 and Greenbriar Road. Air filtration systems ingest and cleanse polluted air so as not to impact neighboring communities. The air quality monitors are also tied to the bridge ambient lighting systems and can be programmed to react to poor air quality in real-time.More on this project
High water sensors and advanced traffic signaling will keep our city safe and informed during flood threats.
Our advanced model to combat flood threats will install approximately 40 Flood Warning System locations with Intelligent Transportations Systems devices to keep the public aware and informed. This system will include high water sensors, advanced traffic signaling systems and more. Data will be available to partner agencies and the public through the TranStar real-time traffic website.More on this project
A powerful risk model uses tech to pinpoint building locations with high lead levels and protect our city from dangerous health issues.
With a grant from the CDC, Houston is embracing data from the Texas Child Lead Registry to find high lead levels in various locations. This risk model will be used by health inspectors to prioritize where to conduct environmental investigations and will keep the public safe from lead hazards.More on this project
Houston’s Health Department is at the helm of a data solution that keeps our sewer systems uncontaminated.
Houston is piloting a smart grease trap solution to alert businesses that generate grease (e.g. restaurants) to clean their grease trap and alert the city of any grease that enters sewer systems. Our aim is to drive adoption of smart meters for grease traps throughout the entire city.More on this project
Houstonians are saving energy costs with intelligent meters that detect leaks and push sensible tips for water conservation.
Houston Public Works was one of the first major water utilities to install smart water meters. Approximately 60% of Houston’s 500,000 water customers have connected water meters that draw usage data every 15 minutes. We have plans in place to network all water meters and deploy systems to enable real-time customer alerts for leak detection and water conservation by August 2019.More on this project
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A groundbreaking corridor connecting people, key industries and businesses for tech-forward transformations.
Our four-mile-long Innovation Corridor offers convenient access to key industry and institution players, a vast array of amenities, and a groundbreaking innovation hub designed for academic, corporate and entrepreneurial communities. This hub will collaborate on tech innovation and entrepreneurship focused on digital technologies.More on this project
Using AI and social media to understand community sentiment and drive more engaged and well-informed governance.
Embracing the AI and data science revolution, we’re leveraging this data analytics platform to understand citizen feedback for better governance. The program scrapes data from the internet and social media to recognize trending topics and how they impact citizens’ views toward the city through sentiment analysis. Houston is using this in partnership with Microsoft to understand the impact of Smart City solutions and to identify needs for better citizen engagement.More on this project
The city has questions — an ultra-responsive chatbot answers them 24/7.
We’re deploying a chatbot to provide citizens with a simple way to get city-related information or help — without the wait times associated with in-person agents. The bot will be developed in-house using Microsoft’s Azure Bot Service.More on this project
A platform that analyzes and predicts Houston 311 calls is transforming how our citizens experience the city.
We’ve partnered with Rice University’s Data 2 Knowledge program to understand and predict 311 calls for service — and improve customer satisfaction. The analysis is helping inform resource allocation (such as when and where the city should place illegal dumping cameras for law enforcement purposes).More on this project
The Houston Permitting Center's online tool to simplify and personalize the submittal process for users everywhere.
The Houston Permitting Center handles ninety percent of all permits, licenses and registrations issued by the City. This forward-thinking online platform guides users through a series of questions and customizes information based on each user’s unique answers.More on this project
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