IoT In Smart Cities

IoT In Smart Cities

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a ground-breaking technological development that has the potential to alter how we live, work, and play fundamentally. For instance, an IoT-enabled smart city may manage infrastructure and maintenance more effectively, lowering operating costs and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. Cities, their residents, and the globe as a whole will gain more from using IoT as more cities worldwide adopt it.

The Internet of Things is the most significant innovation affecting the industry's general business practices. Due to this transformation, Dubai has a huge market for internet of things businesses.

What is IoT (internet of things)?

The term "Internet of Things" is a general term that can be used to describe any object connected to the internet, according to the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). But in recent years, the phrase "Internet of Things" has come to expressly refer to things that can "speak" to one another.

It alludes to the vast network of digital devices that interact and communicate with one another and impact our daily lives. These gadgets can evaluate, monitor, and regulate some aspects of city life. They include smart sensors, monitoring gear, artificial intelligence software, and actuators. For example, several sensors could collect weather data that would then be used to control the temperatures in public buildings. This issue would cut down on emissions and save the city money.

There is no agreed-upon definition of the Internet of Things, and various organizations and people may offer variations on one purpose. However, they concur that the Internet of Things (IoT) is "a set of technologies for accessing the data collected by various devices through wireless and wired Internet networks."

Why is the internet of things so crucial for smart cities?

The IoT is crucial for all cities. Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, and Sao Paolo are currently the four largest cities in the world, with populations of 38 million, 29 million, 26 million, and 21 million, respectively. These megacities are famous today due to their enormous number of people. There will be many more of these in the future, with much denser populations.

By 2030, it is anticipated that more than 60% of the world's population will reside in urban areas. A bold prognosis may lead to calamity if the proper steps aren't taken. Resources are needed to support huge people. In addition to having access to clean air and water, residents will also need practical sanitation and waste management. The cities of the future will be able to meet the needs of their residents effectively and efficiently by using smart city principles in new ways and putting IoT technology to use on a large scale.

Big data and connected technology can produce intelligent solutions. These remedies can address issues, improve city dwellers' living standards, and use fewer resources. The Internet of Things is one of the essential parts of a truly smart city that works at its best.

Examples of IoT solutions for smart cities

Smart cities prioritize Internet of Things technology in various intriguing ways, according to IoT Analytics. The study analyzed how leaders were embracing IoT to reduce urban inefficiencies and enhance the quality of life for their inhabitants, focusing on decision-makers from some of the world's top smart cities.

According to the survey, the following are the city governments' top priorities:

  • Connected public transportation (74 %)
  • Traffic control and observation (72%).
  • Water level monitoring and flooding (72%)
  • Analytics for video surveillance (72 %)
  • Integrated street lighting (68%)
  • Weather forecasting (68 %)
  • Monitoring of pollution and air quality (68%)
  • Water-related smart metering (66%).
  • Detection of smoke and fire (66%)
  • Water quality monitoring (64 %)

The percentages represent the share of included smart cities in a smart city program that has implemented use cases. Let's look at some of the top ways municipalities use the Internet of Things to solve urban problems.

Connected public transport

For passengers, using public transportation can be very frustrating. This system includes buses, trains, and ferries. Public transportation may not be as comfortable, convenient, or quick as a private vehicle. Passengers must plan their schedules around the public transit timetables, and unforeseen events may disrupt public transit operations even though it is typically less expensive and more environmentally friendly than using a private vehicle.

However, the drawbacks of public transportation are gradually disappearing as it starts to get more comfortable, more districts start providing amenities like internet access for passengers, and more communities begin enhancing service by adding additional trips and express services. Furthermore, Internet of Things technology is now widely used in public transportation. Passengers will gain from smart, linked public transit systems in various ways. This technology will significantly enhance the riding experience on public transit by providing real-time vehicle tracking, notifications in the event of an unforeseen event, and customized travel news to passengers.

Real-Time Vehicle Tracking

The inability to obtain real-time information on the whereabouts of the vehicle or the estimated time of arrival at a specific stop is perhaps one of the most common complaints of public transportation users. Fortunately, districts can track the whereabouts of their vehicles thanks to the Internet of Things technologies. Communities can install internet-connected GPS devices on their fleet of cars. The GPS data is sent back to a central command center. The passenger's internet-enabled mobile device or an electronic sign at a transit stop can receive the GPS data once it has been received by central command. Then, people can guess exactly when the car will arrive at a particular stop.

Unexpected Events

Public transit can occasionally be affected by unforeseen events like breakdowns, road closures, or bad weather. Thanks to the Internet of Things, districts can more easily reroute vehicles, inform passengers, and assist them in making alternative arrangements. Transit companies can advise passengers before an unexpected event by sending alerts to their mobile phones rather than keeping them in the dark. IoT technology will also make it easier for transit authorities to create a backup plan in an emergency. For instance, transit agencies can use information from ticket scanners connected to the internet to find out how many people are on the train in the case of a disruption in rail service rather than waiting for a conductor to relay the information. To lessen the annoyance for passengers, the transportation agency can decide how many buses to utilize on a bus bridge.

Personalized Travel Information

People enjoy feeling unique. Passengers on public transportation will feel cared for if they receive personalized information. Thanks to the Internet of Things, transit providers can easily send passengers customized travel information. For instance, transit companies can follow a specific person's travel patterns and establish which station and route they commonly utilize. The transit company would be able to alert the passengers in advance in the event of a planned station closure or rerouting of a particular route.

Traffic monitoring

One of the main problems for smart cities is controlling traffic flow. The amount of traffic in a city affects its efficiency and livability. If data and sensors are used to direct traffic well, it will be easier to handle a growing population.

Numerous applications and solutions are available through the Internet of Things (IoT). Controlling traffic is one of these uses in smart cities. By combining IoT with ideas like computer vision and AI, global cities may be managed and controlled more effectively.

Solutions for monitoring traffic congestion can either crowdsource data from drivers' smartphones or utilize cameras to capture and record car volumes visually. Traffic congestion monitoring solutions install cameras at strategic points along routes to monitor and measure congestion. These platforms can recognize instances of congestion, track when they are most likely to occur, and identify environmental factors, such as weather or accidents, using machine learning technology to count cars and assess capacity.

Users' phone location information is another tool that congestion monitors may employ. By combining this information with their speed, they can spot dense concentrations of users and traffic congestion.

Lighting Management

IoT technology can be used by sensors placed in critical locations to collect data on traffic, rerouting vehicles away from specific areas. IoT Big Data solutions can analyze this data, which can then be used to find other routes and improve traffic lights.

Sensors can be connected to street lights to switch on and off when there is activity nearby or during daytime in the city to save energy. The weather sensors included in roadside lights also allow them to function. When using a light management system, roadside illumination will adjust according to the time of day or night and as needed by the weather. Additionally, by making dark corners more visible, lights have, in some places, contributed to a decrease in crime.

Water level monitoring

In recent years, significant progress has been made to apply IoT-based monitoring solutions in various fields, including liquid level measuring. Consider the water level in a well as an example. Users will be protected from significant issues like water interruptions by monitoring and measuring the level with an IoT-based system. The gateways, submersible-type sensors, and other objects create a network that may be highly secure, responsive, and helpful for data transfer, value measurement, and timely alerts. Users can initially recognize and treat problems with high productivity.

Users find it difficult to gather information about the static water level. The measurement is typically done in the early morning or late evening when there aren't many people using the water. A greater understanding of how the well operates while the pump is working can be gained by adopting a water level monitoring solution, which can be used at any time and from any location.

Video surveillance

Numerous significant developments in today's society result from the improved functionality made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) and related technologies. One sector that has undergone significant evolution because of the IoT and other smart technologies is video surveillance.

The idea of intelligent video surveillance is not new. Smart surveillance cameras have been around for a long time and are often used to keep order on the roads and highways of the world.

It's true that, as they develop, smart surveillance cameras may one day be utilized to anticipate crimes before they occur. Additionally, they might be able to recognize and record the movements of pedestrians. People don't like these kinds of invasive monitoring techniques because they worry about their privacy and how their personal information will be used.

There are numerous uses for sophisticated video surveillance technology in business, industry, and society. Systems for video surveillance built with intelligence can do a better job of the things they were made for.

  • What just happened? Unlike older systems, intelligent video surveillance systems can quickly look through a massive amount of footage to find things that look interesting.
  • What is happening now? Automated analysis of the current situation gives real-time information that helps people respond quickly to problems.
  • What will occur after that? Predictive analytics can warn businesses of possible issues so they can actively reduce hazards before they become a problem by using the raw data offered by video feeds.

Air Quality

The state of the air's quality tells us whether it is clean or contaminated. The Air Quality Index (AQI) uses numbers from 0 (excellent air quality) to 500 (hazardous air quality, which means an emergency) to measure the amount of pollution in the air at a particular place. Pollutants include things like carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter (VOC).

To better educate people in real-time about the current air pollution levels, smart cities are currently outfitting new technologies to monitor pollution, dust, and air particles.

The benefits of air quality monitoring include:

  • Better protection from infection: Air quality monitoring lowers the risk of disease by viruses and other pathogens.
  • Increased productivity: People can concentrate better because the air contains more oxygen.
  • Better health and happiness: Most people feel better in air-conditioned rooms because they have fewer physical problems.

Reduced heating expenditures since proper airing and ventilation can also optimize the heating behavior and fewer sick days for employees and students.

Water Quality Monitoring

To promptly identify any contamination and take appropriate action, water monitoring sensors measure the quality of the water. Additionally, communities can monitor critical water sensors in real-time thanks to IoT, decreasing water loss and spotting concerns before they become serious. Sensors based on the Internet of Things (IoT) are often used to track turbidity and total dissolved solvents (TDS).

Waste Management

IoT technologies are used to improve the efficiency of waste collection, lower operational costs, and fix environmental issues caused by poor waste management. Trash collectors will only arrive when necessary, thanks to smart sensors that detect when trash cans are full.

Smart Infrastructure

Buildings and residences can learn from their surroundings to become more energy-efficient and decrease excessive power usage thanks to this infrastructure, which frequently includes automatic lighting, smart elevators, and other features.

Smart Parking

Smart parking systems use IoT technology to automate parking your car. The technology includes sensors that make it easier to locate a free parking spot by identifying empty spaces in the parking lots. Drivers who use this technique save time because they don't waste it seeking parking. Additionally, since cars don't have to search for parking spaces for hours, it saves time and gas. IoT networks support the scalability of such parking projects. It also makes the payment process easier and helps cities and parking lot owners make more money from parking.

The Internet of Things Strategy in Dubai

The Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) Strategy aims to create the most cutting-edge IoT ecosystem in the smartest city in the world to enhance people's lives. The plan intends to safeguard Dubai's digital assets, persuade government agencies to participate in the emirate's smart transformation, and realize the goals of the Smart Dubai Plan 2021, which calls for the establishment of an entirely paperless government. The six strategic domains covered are governance, management, acceleration, deployment, monetization, and security.

The data sources for the Dubai Pulse platform, which serves as the city's digital spine, are unified by the Dubai IoT Strategy. It opens up new growth opportunities, makes all sectors more efficient, and gives people in Dubai access to business and social opportunities that didn't exist before.

The plan is to implement the approach in four parts over the next three years. Coordination of efforts and actions to execute IoT policies across government agencies is the primary focus of the first phase. The second phase, which entails integration and conversion, aims to coordinate efforts to implement the IoT Strategy. After entering the final "blockchain trip" stage, the strategy will proceed through the third phase, which is about optimization. At this point, IoT policies will be fully integrated, and the first return on investment from the strategy will be seen.

Six pillars of the IoT strategy in Dubai

Smart Dubai will systematically plan, implement, and manage the city's Internet of Things across six strategic domains. This system will help implement a citywide Internet of Things strategy that includes both the public and private sectors and allows businesses and individuals.

  • Government: Transparent and effective governance of IoT technologies in Dubai.
  • Management: Better management of Dubai's smart city with IoT sensing technologies.
  • Acceleration: Accelerated deployment of IoT-based smart solutions.
  • Monetization: Explored monetization opportunities of the IoT ecosystem.
  • Deployment: Address the risk of interoperability and security
  • Security: Address the risk of interoperability and security of sensors' deployment
30th Nov 2022

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