City of Shreveport Partners with LSUS to Improve Safety, Services Using AI
September 20, 2022
Collaborating To Build Smarter Cities
Keith Hanson, chief technology officer for the City of Shreveport, was sitting at his desk sorting through bids. He’d been asked to come up with so-called “smart city” technologies to improve city services, safety, and general quality of life. But every piece of equipment Hanson could put his hands on was expensive and piecemeal.
That’s when Hanson turned to LSU Shreveport. He’d heard about the university’s advances in machine learning and computer vision (that is, in AI) and saw an opportunity to collaborate to get the residents of Shreveport the best geospatial data they could afford—reliably and in real time.
Contrary to the phrase “garbage in, garbage out,” the resulting collaboration would leverage the city’s largest service fleet and the only public vehicles to go to every address every week—about three dozen garbage trucks. By mounting cameras on trucks and using AI, the City of Shreveport could faster and more efficiently respond to potholes and stalled roadwork, for example, or stolen and illegally parked cars.
That initial idea led to others. This summer, teams from the City of Shreveport and LSUS gathered in the Cyber Collaboratory on the LSUS campus to begin building technology to serve a real-time crime center.
“Keith provides the use cases—our students come up with the solutions,” said LSUS Assistant Professor of Computer Science Subhajit Chakrabarty.
“There seemed to be no way for us as a mid-size city to become a “smart city” on the budget we had. We needed cameras, sensors, and a way to integrate it all. [But] instead of buying a package solution from a third-party vendor for several thousand dollars, we can work with LSUS to make these camera boxes ourselves for a few hundred. When you’re working with locals who care about their local economy and their city, it changes the game. Together, we can create interesting edge technology that almost no cities have at this point.”
Keith Hanson, chief technology officer for the City of Shreveport