Smart Technology Initiatives
Smart technology is the wave of the future and Holly Springs residents are reaping the benefits. A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.
Holly Springs is a part of a regional smart cities program that won a 2020 Smart Cities North America Award for its innovative use of technology in the smart water category. The town has installed sensors in historically flood prone creeks, so alarms go off in the fire station when water is close to cresting and flooding the road. This allows public safety crews to block off roadways before water can become an issue for drivers. Before installing Green Stream Technologies sensors, crews had to constantly check stream levels during major rain events. Now this smart technology saves staff time and money, while keeping the community safe.
Smart Traffic Signals
Holly Springs is using smart technology to improve traffic congestion. When multiple phases of the project are complete, the town will have the ability to synchronize traffic signals and react in real time to divert traffic away from an accident.
Up until now, traffic signals have traditionally been connected to NCDOT through radio waves. This technology can be unreliable, timing patterns can drift and NCDOT has no way to know if there is an issue with a signal, unless they are contacted by phone, and cannot make any adjustments to the signals remotely. Because of foresight on the part of the Information Technology and Engineering Departments, Holly Springs laid down its own fiber network and then approached NCDOT to offer them a deal – they could tap into our pre-existing fiber network if they would synchronize our traffic signals so our community could have better service.
Work is starting to link signal cabinets and the system should be up and running by 2021. The long-range plan for this Intelligent Traffic Systems Initiative is to install cameras at intersections for monitoring (not enforcement) and create a command center in town that can immediately manipulate traffic signals to clear vehicles away from an accident scene and provide more insight into signal operations.
Holly Springs is on the cutting edge of smart transportation technology by being part of the first wave of communities supporting drone delivery services.
Flytrex, the Israeli start-up responsible for launching the world’s first autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland, hopes to begin operating in Holly Springs, subject to regulatory approval. The company has partnering with Causey Aviation, which will be the program operator, as well as NCDOT and the Town of Holly Springs.
It would start with takeout delivery from Holly Springs Towne Center to a delivery location at Ting Park, across the park road from the tennis courts.
Holly Springs and Flytrex are part of a broad-ranging, multi-year national program to safely test innovative uses of drones. They are working with the N.C. Department of Transportation, which heads a team of industry and government partners.
Flytrex is currently operating flights out of Fayetteville, NC under the same pilot program, and has partnered with Walmart. The operational data collected from this operation should result in a quicker approval from the FAA for the Holly Springs operations which propose to cross over NC 55.