News, Outdoor

GE to develop lights that detect gun shots

Weapons against crime: Streetlights could be used to detect gun shots and alert response teams

GE Lighting has teamed up with a specialist firm to bring gunshot detection to light fixtures. The arrangement will add gunshot detection sensors and software to GE’s intelligent LED streetlights.

Technology from Californian company ShotSpotter detects and locates gunfire in real time through acoustic sensors and software. Alerts are then broadcast to emergency services, patrol cars and even smartphones, with the precise location, number of rounds fired, multiple or single shooters, and other valuable situational intelligence. These alerts enable response teams to get to the scene quickly and safely in order to aid victims, collect evidence and quickly apprehend offenders.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between GE Lighting and SST, developer of the ShotSpotter crime detection and location suite, will allow GE to look into embedding ShotSpotter technology into its intelligent LED streetlights.

The proposed exclusive arrangement intends to add real-time gunfire detection from ShotSpotter to GE’s Intelligent Environments for Cities solution, which features software and sensor-enabled LED lighting powered by Predix, GE’s cloud-based platform for the industrial internet.

“We’ve entered an era where lighting is so much more than illumination,” says Rick Freeman, global product general manager, intelligent devices, GE Lighting. “The ecosystem we are building with our Intelligent Environments for Cities solution is transforming streetlighting into the analytical brain of urban life, and this MOU with ShotSpotter gives one more option for cities to unlock new potential benefits for their city teams and their residents.”

Communities most affected by gunfire are least likely to call emergency services in the event of an incident. It is estimated that only 1 in 10 shootings are reported, and when calls do come in, the information is often inaccurate. ShotSpotter is already driving meaningful outcomes in cities today. Embedding the technology in GE’s streetlights will take its benefits one step further by building it into a city’s existing infrastructure. With ShotSpotter sensors embedded into lighting fixtures throughout a city, much broader coverage areas will be available at affordable cost.

“ShotSpotter is a proven tool in helping cities across the country address chronic gun violence issues,” says Ralph A Clark, president and CEO of SST. “The City of San Francisco, for example, reports an approximate 50% decrease in recorded firearms violence since deploying ShotSpotter as part of their gun violence abatement strategy. This partnership with GE will accelerate the adoption of this technology in other cities by integrating our solution into existing infrastructure in a more comprehensive way.”

The collaboration is conditional on a definitive agreement.

Picture: Hartlepool College