From Smart Grid and intelligent transportation systems to hazard mitigation, air quality monitoring and smart waste, we’ll be looking into 9 examples of smart city networks and see what exactly these technologies do to improve the lives of their communities and how they are helping to build smarter and sustainable population hubs for future. The one thing these technologies all have in common is they all require electricity to run, so, let’s start things off with smart grids and how they’re enhancing and improving energy management in the places they’re deployed.
1) Smart Grid
Achieving efficiency in energy management is probably the common denominator among all driving factors of Smart City initiatives. Power is the lifeblood of a city and therefore any inefficiency in power generation and distribution not only causes incurring of large-scale losses but may also be harmful for the environment. A Smart Grid is an advanced system of efficient demand and supply management of electricity by leveraging two way communication of real time digital information transmitted from IIoT-enabled automated distribution controls, sensing, and head-end data management applications. The key objectives of Smart Grid are to reduce downtime, increase efficiency and reliability in utility operations as well as facilitate the end customer have more control over their electricity expense. A Smart Grid is an initiative to modernize older electricity distribution management by leveraging intelligent computing, Industrial communication, renewable energy storage, smart appliances and big data analytics. Smart Grid enables utilities to integrate and utilize large-scale renewable energy generation and storage systems as well consumer produced power through hybrid cars, rooftop solar systems.
2) Intelligent Transportation Systems
Smart mobility or ITS are the mission-critical smart city networks that provide the city authorities with tools to incorporate security, safety, operational efficiency and higher end user experience into their mass transit services. The implementation of intelligent transportation systems such as intelligent signal management, automatic road enforcement, traffic signal priority, weather data mining, predictive maintenance and onboard systems, brings with it the promise to reduce congestion and carbon foot-print as well as increase end-user satisfaction.
3) Smart Waste
With more and more people moving into our cities, more and more waste is being produced and in need of being dealt with. In order to combat this issue, states and cities across the globe have begun to use smart waste management systems. These systems include sensors that can “talk” to waste collection companies and inform them of their current trash capacity and whether they need emptying. This saves time not having to individually check each trash container while also cutting down on fuel costs.
4) Smart Parking
Smart parking is the use of sensors and surveillance to improve customer or visitor experience. Public spaces, events venues and tourist attractions requiring large car-parks for customers needed to find a solution to the issue of finding and waiting for parking spaces to become available. Using sensors to track the availability of spaces, customers can now check for spaces while still at home using smartphone apps as well as be guided to their space once they’ve found one. This enables speedier parking and improves overall customer satisfaction.
5) Smart Lighting
Using IoT enabled smart city networks, municipalities around the world can deploy Smart lighting systems that aim to enhance street lighting initiatives by providing actionable data on their use to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and keep communities safer. Smart lights are able to feed data directly to an operations center for manual adjustment and control. They’re also able to detect noise and movement, meaning further automation could bring in the possibility for street lights to turn on when they detect individuals heading towards them. They can also add to community safety efforts by alerting authorities to large gatherings of loud people as well as anti-social behavior.
6) Intelligent Hazard Mitigation
As humans expand across and settle upon different lands, we’ve come up against a whole host of environmental hazards that need to be dealt with to ensure the safety of those living around them. Smart cities are no exception to this rule. Infrared thermal sensors would be a good example of smart city networks of IoT sensors for wildfire hazard management. Intelligent hazard mitigation systems a combination of IoT enabled sensing, measurement, alarm systems, laser scanning, vision systems, to report warnings of damage potential, on actual damage or provide relevant information to post-disaster reconstruction efforts.
7) Intelligent Security
Intelligent security systems are a broad spectrum of intelligent vision processing devices, deep learning technologies and big data analytics that promote and enhance public security . City-wide surveillance, facial recognition, cyber security of critical infrastructure are some of the main features of a secure smart city.
8) Air Quality Monitoring:
In an age where innovation and technological production seem to know no bounds, smart cities have a duty to protect their citizens from the harmful effects of industrial production and its waste products as well as pollution from vehicles and civic operations. Air monitoring sensors are currently being integrated with smart street lamps in order to monitor and report on air quality as well as provide data about where air quality is lowest and by how much.
9) Info Beacons
Nowadays, everyone seems to have a smartphone, and brands and advertisers know this. The way we interact with marketing and advertising efforts has changed and thus, so have the ways in which advertisers and brands look to market their potential customers. Info Beacons are intelligent digital signage smart city networks. Using embedded sensors to detect approaching smartphones, info beacons can stream information about local amenities, adverts for local stores and various other kinds of data. This can provide cost savings to businesses looking to advertise their products as they only have to deal with one-off installation costs and can then customize their info beacons to best suit their current commercial objectives.
These were 9 common examples of modern smart city networks and many of the upcoming smart-city projects around the world revolve around these applications. And there is no reason to think that in a few years’ time we won’t see even more technological innovations and Internet of Things enabled additions to the smart city repertoire. There is huge emphasis to ensure the connectivity the smart cities thrive on are is protected using embedded cyber security into each segment of the smart city system.
We are fast approaching a time when nearly everything single aspect of our city lives is completely connected and integrated. What we need to ensure as we approach this point is that our use of these technologies doesn’t supersede our desire to innovate and create. Only through hard work, dedicated research and pioneering innovative ideas can we continue the technological progress we’ve made in this century. Removing the need of human toil to operate our cities can only be a good thing, and with any luck, our continued creation of interconnected technologies will help lay the foundations for the next technological revolution, whatever that may be.