- San Diego is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps to collaborate on researching and installing smart cities technology, including applications of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last month around the partnership.
- The partnership will include working groups and pilot programs looking at the application of smart city technology in areas including protection and security, mobility and public works, according to the MOU.
- “San Diego and the Marine Corps have a long history working together and this agreement is a testament to our partnership,” Maj. Gen. Coglianese said in a statement. Both partners "see opportunities to partner in developing innovative solutions on resilience, improved services, and transportation," he added.
The partnership does not commit any additional resources or lay out new pilot programs, but instead commits the city and military to regular meetings and conference calls to exchange technical ideas and discuss smart cities issues. Government Technology reports that the collaboration is part of a Marine Corps program to create the "Base of the Future," a more resilient and sustainable military base that in part uses smart city technology and strategies. That program relies in part on collaborations with communities or installations. San Diego hosts Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, one of the largest bases in the U.S.
A major point of collaboration will be UAS, or drone, technology. San Diego was chosen as one of 10 national testing sites by the Federal Aviation Administration last year, to research drones’ applications for package deliveries, border security and public safety. The Marine Corps will join as one of San Diego’s more than 20 regional partners on the program, and is sure to offer insight on public safety applications of drones.
San Diego has become a leader in smart cities research and installation, with projects including a “Get It Done” smartphone app for residents to request neighborhood improvements and a massive smart streetlight installation, with sensors that can enhance public safety and track air quality. The nearby city of Chula Vista, CA recently issued a call for research partnerships to take advantage of city-owned facilities, especially around drones. Bringing the Marine Corps’ resources and technical expertise will help advance more pilot projects, and show an even broader application for smart cities tech.