Fifty-five percent of the world's population currently resides in urban areas, with a predicted 13 percent increase by the year 2050. Cities across the globe face the challenge of providing their citizens with tangible and equitable economic, social, and environmental benefits. In addition, they must provide higher-quality and more sustainable services, enhance public safety, address congestion and environmental issues, reduce costs, and promote local economic competitiveness. Existing infrastructure and processes that use many resources are too expensive, hard to manage, and impossible to scale, so cities look for technological solutions to ease these problems.
As the population has increased, technology has made unprecedented advancements. Now that Internet of Things (IoT) devices, edge computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G communications networks are available, the transition to a smart, technology-enabled city is possible.
Now, embedded smart city technologies (sensors, cameras, and edge computing) can provide near-real-time awareness of issues requiring attention. Data collected and analyzed from these devices can be used to optimize city operations. Smart city solutions can enhance fundamental services, boost public safety, increase sustainability, and inform planning and policymaking.
They can also be used to enhance shared experiences, optimize operational efficiency at local sports stadiums, theme parks, and resorts, and improve parking and campus safety. The reach and effects are vast, but each application improves citizens' lives.
Examples of solutions for a smart city
A smart city extends beyond digital technologies to improve resource utilization and reduce emissions. It entails smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply, and waste disposal facilities, and more energy-efficient building lighting and heating systems. It also calls for a city government that is more responsive and involved, safer public spaces, and the ability to meet the needs of an aging population.
Almost infinite technologies exist to make cities smarter, and the list grows with each passing year. When planning a smarter city, there are a few core categories. Here are some of the most popular solutions for smart cities:
Smart city solutions involve using smart urban infrastructure that improves the quality of life for citizens. Listed below are some of the most prevalent smart infrastructures in smart cities.
Using sensors and IoT technology on smart roads makes driving easier and safer. These roads provide real-time information about the weather and road conditions to drivers. They can also assist drivers in locating available parking spaces and prevent collisions by alerting drivers to approaching traffic. These roads are especially beneficial on mountain roads where landslides are common. With the help of electromagnetic effects, roads that can charge electric vehicles can also charge electric vehicles as they drive over them.
Smart lighting enables cities to illuminate various locations based on lighting requirements. These lights are solar-powered and therefore harvest energy during the day. Smart street lights conserve energy by activating only when a vehicle or person enters their vicinity. Also, they save energy by turning down the lights in places like parking lots where there aren't many people.
Smart Parking Management
In-Ground Vehicle Detection Sensors have made smart parking management systems possible. These systems enable motorists to quickly locate a parking space in a mall or city center. A central parking management system employs local signal processors in parking spaces and notifies the nearest vehicle when a parking space is vacant. This issue makes parking lots less crowded, reduces pollution, and makes parking less stressful for drivers.
Smart Traffic Lights
Smart Traffic Lights are part of the CV2X network (cellular vehicle to everything). This network allows traffic lights to be in contact with connected cars. Automobiles transmit real-time data to these traffic signals, allowing them to adjust their lights based on the current traffic conditions. This system prevents traffic congestion at intersections and facilitates traffic flow in a city.
IoT technology enables service providers to maintain a steady stream of customers by instantly calculating bills and transacting funds from their smart wallets. For example, a smart contract IoT solution on a gas pump can determine how much fuel a car uses and take money out of the owner's e-wallet after leaving the station.
The implementation of the internet of things makes buildings intelligent. Smart buildings reduce energy consumption and implement structural security. Various IoT systems also ensure the proper upkeep of its assets and promote environmental wellness. A few of these systems include:
Monitoring systems for energy
IoT energy monitoring solutions enable real-time monitoring of the energy consumed by a building's appliances. With this information, the building's management can determine how to use electricity efficiently and cut costs.
Systems for Monitoring Water Levels
Smart buildings can use a water tank with a level monitoring system to maintain the optimal amount of required water as a buffer stock. This wireless tank level monitoring system will alert building occupants whenever the water level falls below a predetermined threshold. Incorporating TDS, pH, and other sensors into this system enables accurate water quality estimation. This system gives the people who live in the building plenty of time to call their city or a water tanker service before the water runs out.
Security and Safety Systems
These systems include biometric devices, IP surveillance cameras, and wireless alarms. These security systems prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the building and permit remote monitoring of the structure.
It is possible to restrict access to sensitive and private areas using perimeter security and access control systems. This system makes theft less likely and helps find people in areas of the building they shouldn't be in.
Exemplary are the benefits that IoT brings to the automobile industry. Modern infotainment systems and predictive analytics capabilities have been aided by IoT automotive. However, the most significant applications of smart vehicles are connected vehicles and fleet management.
Connected and Self-Driving Vehicles
The market for connected vehicles continues to expand. According to an estimate, there will be more than 250 million connected vehicles by 2020. A connected car or vehicle is part of a CV2X network, which lets it talk to other cars, people on the street, and infrastructure.
This network shares traffic, accident, weather, and road condition data with its vehicles, enabling them to take the shortest route possible to their destinations. The network also lets the driver know when traffic lights, toll booths, and helpful places like gas stations and restaurants are coming up.
Autonomous vehicles can also partially control the vehicle to assist drivers in navigating traffic. The connected cars and infrastructure ecosystem will help prevent traffic jams in smart cities and ensure traffic flows smoothly on smart roads.
Vehicle Monitoring and Fleet Administration
Fleet operators and managers use fleet tracking solutions to track their trucks and ships' fleet. Emergency services in a city can use the exact GPS fleet management solutions to ensure public safety. Police units can use this system to track stolen vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks to reach a car on fire as quickly as possible.
In smart cities, fleet management solutions also improve courier delivery. A fleet manager can track their fleet of trucks and ship vessels to ensure the safety and security of the cargo at every stage of transportation. A delivery person can also connect to the smart city network to determine the recipient's address and the quickest route to get there.
Efficient Energy Distribution and Production
Smart cities cannot be considered smart unless they have a constant electricity supply. Smart Grids and Smart Meters utilize the Internet of Things capabilities to facilitate the development of a robust T&D (transmission and distribution) system. Also, the IoT lets companies that make electricity improve their processes to meet their customers' changing needs.
Embedded Internet of Things sensors enables utilities to monitor power plants' performance and other assets such as transformers. This data can be used to manage the equipment during uptime and downtime. A notification is sent to the appropriate authorities to replace or repair equipment if it fails unexpectedly. This system makes it easy for the electricity provider to do condition-based maintenance (CBM) on assets and keep the city's electricity supply going.
Theft Detection and Dynamic Billing
Smart Grids equipped with Internet of Things capabilities constitute a network that enables electricity providers to monitor the flow of electricity. Consequently, wiretapping facilitates the identification of electricity theft by the authorities. In conjunction with this network, smart meters enable energy providers to monitor residential electricity consumption in real-time. Thus, utilities can bill households daily, eliminating the possibility of fraudulent billing.
The Renewable Energy Administration
Developing electricity using nonrenewable energy sources causes urban pollution. However, because renewable resources are entirely dependent on weather conditions, they are inherently variable. Utilizing a smart transmission system, the IoT enables the automatic switching between nonrenewable and renewable energy sources. This system makes it possible to use renewable energy when the weather is good, reducing city pollution.
Supply Rerouting and Restoration
Due to varying weather conditions and overstress, transmission lines frequently fail. In such instances, a region may remain without power until the fault is identified and repaired. A smart transmission system can find an alternate route to supply electricity to the blacked-out area of the city until the defect is repaired.
Considered the fourth agricultural revolution, IoT's introduction to the agricultural sector is hailed as the fourth agrarian revolution. The economic stability of smart cities will be supported by smart farms, allowing the agricultural industry to flourish alongside the ever-improving urban infrastructure. Two of the most frequent smart farm applications are:
Monitoring various parameters, such as the climate, soil, pests, and the crop itself is a component of crop management. IoT sensors embedded deep within the farm enable the farmer to monitor these variables. This system aids the farmer in producing a healthy crop yield.
- Climate observation: The sensors in the Internet of Things can tell when there are sudden changes in the weather so that farmers can plant their crops accordingly.
- Pest Detection: Sensors that look for pests allow farmers to use the correct number of pesticides based on the type and number of pests in the field.
- Soil monitoring: Different soil monitoring sensors can measure the soil's moisture, temperature, and nutrients.
Farmers must also be concerned with the health of their livestock. Using GPS trackers, a rancher can monitor the location of cattle at all times. The rancher can also use geofencing technology to receive an alert whenever his cattle cross the boundaries of his farms or pastures. Using sensors that track things like heart rate and temperature, it is possible to predict how and when cattle will breed and how healthy they will be.
Smart Waste Management
According to statistics, approximately 4.6 kilograms of solid waste is generated per capita in urban areas. The Internet of Things offers innovative smart waste management solutions to collect and manage this enormous amount of waste. These solutions help cities and towns save money on garbage collection, keep trash cans from overflowing, use analytics to predict how much trash will be made, and keep harmful diseases and gases from spreading.
The Internet of Things (IoT) smart waste management system enables municipalities to monitor the amount of trash in trash cans and reach it before it overflows. The bins are embedded with sensors that continuously report their level and location to the municipalities. This lets the authorities find the quickest way to get to the trash cans before they get full.
Smart Waste Management systems allow waste service managers to lower their operational costs, improve waste collection, and protect the environment to make life better in smart cities.
Smart Air Quality Sensors
There are always air particles, dust, dirt, and cleaning chemicals floating around one's office or residence. Smart air quality monitors can find these particles and let people know about air pollutants.
Monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ) can more effectively warn individuals of unsafe pollutant levels via an indicator light or push notifications to a mobile device. Air quality data collected by IoT sensors include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide levels, among others. Officials intend to use this information to make the city healthier and more inhabitable.