Brandon Davito, Vice President, Smart Cities
Brandon Davito is the Vice President for Silver Spring’s Smart Cities business. Brandon Davito joined Silver Spring in 2009, and has developed and led service delivery for strategic accounts in the US and international markets. Prior to Silver Spring, Brandon was an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco Office. During his tenure at McKinsey, Brandon served utility and high tech clients, with a focus on technology’s impact on the energy industry. Previously, he was a product manager for BuildPoint Corporation a software company serving the construction industry. Brandon has a MBA and a Master of Engineering Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BA in History and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.
Why are cities choosing to invest in networking smart city devices?
There are a range of benefits that are driving cities and utilities to invest in smart city technologies. Some cities aim to reduce energy consumption or to drive operational efficiency with their maintenance crews. Some are looking to the smart city vision as a differentiator to drive economic development. Others are motivated to improve environmental sustainability and quality of life. One example is Copenhagen, which has established an ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020. The city views the investment in a citywide smart street lighting network as a major driver in reducing energy and cutting carbon while also allowing for a range of new city services delivered on the same network.
Why are utilities getting involved in smart city projects?
Utilities are already providers of critical infrastructure services to cities and citizens worldwide. Expanding from utility distribution networks to smart city networks builds on their core competencies of delivering reliable services while taking advantage of existing field crews and investments in smart energy network platforms. This expansion of their service offering also brings utilities closer to municipalities and end customers to ensure they are relevant for the next generation of smart city services. One example is ComEd’s streetlight pilot, which provides advanced control capabilities such as remote scheduling and dimming for two municipalities in the ComEd service territory. These premium services strengthen ComEd’s smart city offering by increasing energy savings and delivering better quality lighting for residents.
Why are many customers starting their smart city deployments with smart lighting technologies?
Retrofitting streetlights with LEDs and advanced network controls has a very clear business case for energy savings and operational benefits. Streetlights also serve as a perfect first application to build out a citywide network canopy – they are ubiquitous, high in the air and typically constantly powered – creating cost-effective coverage and allowing for simple device integration. With a citywide canopy from streetlights in place, layering on additional applications, such as environmental sensors, parking solutions, or traffic management, is easy.
What are some of the new and emerging smart city projects our customers are exploring?
A number of customers are exploring the interaction of their lighting networks with smart city sensors like image/motion sensing, cameras and environmental monitors. For example, over half the people in Copenhagen cycle to work. To improve the commute experience for cyclists, the city has deployed motion sensors that integrate with traffic lights. This enables motion-based dimming that adjusts automatically as bikes pass, creating a “green wave” that optimizes bicycle traffic and enhances commuter safety.
Why is a smart city network beneficial to cities in the long run?
Once a smart city network is in place, the incremental cost of adding new devices is very low. As the network grows, the value of distributed intelligence and having devices control and communicate with each other at the edge increases exponentially. Putting in place a citywide canopy allows cities to experiment with a range of new connected devices and software applications to learn which delivers the most benefits to their citizens. New business models, such as our network-as-a-service offering, allow users to pay a predictable, low yearly fee for connectivity and back-office controls. This encourages innovation and allows different city departments to collaborate on leveraged technology investments.
Why is it important for cities to adopt networks that enable them to deploy devices from different vendors?
The smart city space is evolving so quickly that cities need flexibility and choice in their partners. No one provider is able to deliver a complete smart city offering and many solution providers are rapidly iterating their offerings. Open standards encourage competition, which allows cities to lower their overall costs and take advantage of new innovations throughout the industry.
What’s an example of a city doing something innovative today?
The Bristol City Council has launched the Bristol Is Open (BIO) project, which aims to encourage economic development and R&D in the region, and establish Bristol as global leaders in the accelerating smart city market. The City Council is partnering with the University of Bristol to deploy a citywide Smart City Network by upgrading 5% of streetlights. The standards based network is open to the Council, Universities and 3rd party developers to create new IOT and smart city applications, with BIO charging for access to the network and high-performance cloud-computing infrastructure.