NEC joins US Smart Streetscapes centre

  • February 7, 2024
  • William Payne

NEC Corporation has joined the US National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centre for Smart Streetscapes (CS3). The Centre is a Columbia University-led initiative for development of streetscape applications.

CS3 was founded as part of a $26 million, five-year grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded to a team led by Columbia University, together with Florida Atlantic University, Rutgers University, University of Central Florida and Lehman College in order to develop a centre for Smart Streetscapes.

CS3 is now supporting the development of an ecosystem of streetscape applications that are built upon real-time, hyper-local sensing and can help to resolve the challenges being faced by urban communities.

Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. These comprise streetscapes that include neighbourhood streets, side-walks and public spaces. High-density urban areas affect how people live, work, travel, as well as needs for urban infrastructure.

Such high-density urban areas create challenges that threaten liveability, safety and inclusion. Effective collection and analysis of streetscape data can help address these challenges and make such urban areas safer, more liveable and more inclusive.

NEC has a global presence in the smart city space, including the EU, India and the US. It collaborates with over 60 municipalities in Japan and promotes infrastructure-collaborative mobility solutions with private 5G connectivity and C-V2X technologies, as well as portable private 5G solutions that can be built rapidly and temporarily. In the area of climate change adaptation, the company promotes the concept of adaptation financing for disaster prevention and mitigation.

NEC has joined CS3’s Industry Advisory Board and will regularly advise the centre’s leadership on research proposals and industry engagement, participate in activities with the CS3 community and government stakeholders, and help evaluate external testbed pilot proposals. NEC will also participate as a mentor in CS3’s Startup Accelerator Program, which promotes customer discovery and validation of technologies in direct communication with local communities.

“Cities throughout the world are sharing many of the same challenges, such as the impact from climate change, the coordination of traffic and the maintenance of important infrastructure. We are confident that this cooperation will promote solutions for social issues around the world through the synergistic effects of CS3 activities and NEC’s experience and technologies,” said Yutaka Ukegawa, Corporate Executive Vice President and President of the Cross-Industry Business Unit, NEC Corporation.

“We are very excited to partner with NEC, a leading technology innovator whose commitment to developing smart cities while prioritising privacy, security, and fairness aligns with our values. NEC will be vital in shaping CS3’s research strategy, mentoring a globally competitive smart streetscape workforce, and facilitating partnerships with diverse stakeholders to address community-identified urban streetscape challenges,” said Andrew W. Smyth, Director and PI, NSF ERC for Smart Streetscapes and Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University.