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New SmartCone technology aimed to keep kids safe up and running in Grosse Pointe Park


GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — New technology meant to keep children safe in Grosse Point Park is up and running.

It’s called SmartCone — a way for police to monitor an area while not actually having to be there.

Usually, there is a problem area police have to monitor, but this SmartCone technology picks up on data for both traffic and pedestrians, allowing them to keep an eye out while not having to take away any manpower.

The device might look like a surveillance camera, but that’s not its purpose.

The cameras pointed towards Saint Paul, behind Pierce Middle School, help collect data.

“The number of vehicles that will go through an intersection, the speed of vehicles, how many pedestrians are going though an intersection," explained NextEnergy CEO Jim Saber.

The data collected is stored into a system that is sent to the local police department.

“All those pieces of technology work together in one unit to give us all that data in one time, which is a cost savings for number one a manpower savings," said Stephen Poloni, Director of Public Safety for Grosse Pointe Park.

Right now, SmartCone is set up at two locations — the second is at Nottingham and Kercheval.

The SmartCone system can be moved to other intersections, helping reassure people seeing those traffic issues.

“The feedback we are getting from our residents and costumers is that there has been a great change in the pattern of traffic and the speeds, and they feel that the safety for the kids crossing is excelled increasingly," Poloni said.

NextEnergy is a non-profit technology company out of Detroit helping facilitate between SmartCone and police.

7 Action News reporter Ali Hoxie has been told there's a long-term goal to help develop new ways of communicating issues at an intersection to drivers.

“In the future, that signal will go to the actual control unit in the vehicle, and it will be seemless like machine to machine communication," Saber said.

These cameras can be used as surveillance system. Right now, there is not a sever to go back and review the video — but SmartCone developers say that is an option.

The system has been collecting data for a month and is expected to keep running into the next school year. See the full article here...

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