What the future holds for smart cities
Connected devices and smart real-time data sharing are set to transform urban living, yet there is a significant knowledge gap between what people know about smart city technology and what they want from the smart cities of the future. The implications of a smart, networked city – in terms of how it could improve our lives, save us all money, and how it might challenge our data privacy or how it might drive change to our laws and society – are truly enormous. So what are smart cities and what might they mean for us all?
In the past few decades, society has witnessed a pivotal transition from analog to digital. The Internet, mobile computing and the dawn of IoT (Internet of Things) has transformed our personal lives while Industry 4.0 has brought significant changes to the workplace. Now local governments and municipal authorities are also getting on board, innovating the way our towns and cities manage and deliver a broad range of utilities and services.
Practical examples of this include automating trash collection, street lighting or building management that allows cities to increase efficiency and reduce energy costs, or automating parking management to generate higher revenues. Such savings and new revenues are needed to respond to a changing world and environmental challenges, yet they are just the tip of the iceberg. As smart-city systems become more integrated and as more data is fed into them, more use cases will emerge that will bring ever-greater efficiency savings and optimization.
A smart city is one where data from across the municipal departments is gathered by IoT connected vehicles, building, infrastructure and even workers, and then fed back to a central command and control center via the cloud, analyzed by AI (Artificial Intelligence) for possible efficiencies and ultimately aggregated, visualized and managed through a command dashboard by the city administration helping them understand the overall situation and take appropriate decisions more quickly.
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