Smart Cities is a buzz word in government circles which is essentially a data-driven approach to managing the delivery of public services. At the core of Smart Cities is a group of technologies called Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technologies combine the use of sensors, data transmission, software and computing to help better inform decision making and support automation of processes and tasks. The net benefit is smoother and more efficient delivery of public services to the benefit of the citizens of a city.
How is Smart Cities Technology Being Used?
Smart Cities and IoT technologies may already be benefiting your daily routine without you even knowing it. Here are some examples:
- Traffic – Smart Cities technologies have been deployed in cities to manage traffic lights to improve traffic flow, and reduce commute times. Sensors monitor traffic and adjust the timing of lights to improve traffic flow by minimizing stopping due to poorly timed lights. These systems effectively increase the capacity of existing road networks.
- Electricity Grid – Many cities have incorporated Smart Cities technologies into the management of their electricity grid. These technologies quickly identify faults in electricity transmission and can reroute electricity through other areas of the grid to affected locations, and minimize the effects of blackouts.
- Parking – Smart system for parking management can not only allow cities to centrally manage payments for street and garage parking but also advise drivers as to where to find available parking spots nearby.
- Fleet Management – Smart technologies have been deployed to help cities track their vehicles to optimizes routes to improve efficiency. IoT technologies are also being deployed to monitor vehicle performance and proactively identify maintenance requirements.
- Security – Smart Cities technologies have been deployed in cities to improve security in public places. Security cameras feeding data into command-and-control centers equipped with intelligent video analytics capabilities, constantly analyze video feeds to identify potentially suspicious behavior and bring it to the attention of monitoring staff for further investigation.
- Building Controls – Smart Cities and IoT technologies are routinely used to centrally manage building functions ranging from lighting, to heating and cooling, access control, and other areas. These systems reduce energy consumption, and enhance security, while ensuring the needs of building occupants are fully met.
- Water – Smart Cities technologies allow for the more efficient management of water distribution to citizens. Technology can quickly identify water leaks and other issues allowing for more rapid dispatch of crews to take corrective action.
- Sanitation – Smart sensors are being used to measure the how full garbage bins are and prioritizes garbage pickup for those locations that need it most. These systems focus the efforts of sanitation crews to the locations where there is greatest need helping cities minimize litter and other related.
- Transit – Smart Cities technologies have been deployed in transit systems extensively. Smart technology is being deployed to tell people when the next bus will arrive at a particular stop, to monitor for equipment maintenance requirements, to enhance security and safety, and for other purposes.
- Street Lighting – Some cities have implemented systems which, in addition to using solar power and LED lighting, adjust the intensity of street lighting based on outdoor conditions, or motion from pedestrians and motor vehicles.
Because of the magnitude of the positive benefits that Smart Cities technologies can provide, governments around the world are working to accelerate the development and implementation of these systems. If you are not already benefitting from Smart City technology, there is a very good chance you will be in the near future.
Trigyn is a leader in the design and implementation of Smart Cities and IoT solutions. Trigyn is a strong proponent of open-source standards for Smart Cities and IoT implementations and has been a major supporter of FIWARE since 2019.