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Kansas City Uses Intelligent Lighting and Video to help Predict Potholes and Generate Savings

Kansas City, MO, USA
Verizon Public Sector
Contact Partner
In Collaboration With
City of Kansas City, MO

Goverment Champion

Public Works Department & Chief Innovation Officer

Project Status

Operational since 2011


public safety

Challenges Addressed

Energy Efficiency


Smart city

Funding / Financing

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Type


At a Glance

Kansas City's downtown investments connected communities and helped to create opportunities to implement cost saving infrastructure.

Problem Addressed

When the City of Kansas City revitalized its downtown by building a new multi-use arena and a streetcar rail system that connected once-discrete neighborhoods, their success presented a different set of challenges with the creation of a streetcar rail system. The city had to figure out (1) How to manage the influx of traffic and visitors, (2) How to upgrade existing energy-intensive lighting to remotely managed, energy-efficient LEDs, (3) How to better predict traffic and road hazards to keep citizens moving and safe.

Kansas City used/is using Verizon Intelligent Lighting and Intelligent Video solutions to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Taking advantage of an open underground during the construction of the rail system, Kansas City installed a tremendous amount of fiber and electrical systems, and invited corporate partners to make use of the additional infrastructure to build smart city solutions for the citizens of Kansas City.

Specifically, Kansas City implemented 172 Intelligent Lighting core nodes and 122 Intelligent Video nodes solutions that helped pave the way for a smarter Kansas City.

The Kansas City Public Works Department looks at traffic data from video footage in busy intersections and assesses pedestrian count, car-related pedestrian accidents, jaywalking instances, and illegal traffic patterns in order to determine high risk areas for pedestrian incidents. Reacting accordingly, the city has and continues to install safety mechanisms such as visually impaired road bumps at intersections and multiple types of alarm warnings (visual and audio). The city can also track the number and type of vehicles driving down a road at a given time. By extrapolating that data to other areas where smart nodes aren’t present, the city believes they can predict where potholes are most likely to happen. Armed with this information, the city’s actions can become proactive rather than reactive, with the potential of saving not only maintenance costs, but countless accidents and safety hazards, as well as improving citizen satisfaction.

Near real-time computer vision video analytics and a mapping application were made available to scope available parking spots on a block-by-block basis. Not only can this reduce the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B, being able to quickly find a parking spot can reduce fuel emissions that would otherwise be emitted by endlessly circling the area.

Finally, the downtown lights were converted to energy efficient core node Intelligent Lighting luminaires. Which means when it gets dark in the middle of the day due to cloud coverage, the lights come on. When there’s no citizen activity in the middle of the night, the lights dim. And on New Year’s Eve—or other designated days—the lights stay on. And when the programming of one of the lights malfunctions, support staff are alerted and can remotely repair it without having to roll out a truck to its physical location. Additionally, on a near weekly basis, the city reviews its energy conservation reports, adjusting lighting schedules for optimal energy savings while maintaining the highest levels of safety and lowest level of greenhouse gas emissions.


  1. Installed safety mechanisms at intersections with visual and audio alerts
  2. Used prediction data for where road hazards are most likely to happen to inform planning decisions
  3. Reduced the time it takes people to search for parking
  4. Decreased lighting energy costs
  5. Increased ability for citizens to feel safer

Something Unique

Kansas City's goal is to be the most connected city!

Who Should Consider?

Any city that is looking to maximize the economic and community benefits of smart city development.

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