The ever-growing population along with rapid urbanization will impact global cities the most. As per an estimate, more than 180,000 people move to cities every day. This migration of population to metropolitan and urban cities will result in reduced resources and increased congestion in cities.
However, there is a simple solution that enables cities to manage this large influx of people.
The transformation and adoption of IoT technology has empowered the development of futuristic infrastructures and a connected ecosystem that fuels sustainable economic development and high quality of life. These IoT based solutions have elevated traditional operations and created new services that make cities more efficient, secure and cost effective. They have offered exemplary benefits that make the urban lifestyle more enjoyable and comfortable. Some of these benefits are:
Conventionally, existing traffic management systems have many loopholes in them. For instance, on a four-way crossing, the traffic lights operate on the theory that only a fixed amount of traffic will convey from a crossing at a particular time interval. Practically, that is not the case at all.
In fact, it is quite difficult to even estimate and moderate traffic conditions. Even on a normal day, many factors such as congestion on crossings, speed of incoming traffic and drivers’ driving behavior play a role in determining traffic conditions.
IoT technology can be used effectively to manage the flow of traffic to some extent. It has enabled the development of high-end infrastructures that facilitate a smooth flow of traffic. Smart lights, signs, signals and even vehicles form a part of a connected vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network that enables the transportation of goods, services and people at an efficient rate.
An IoT based traffic management system can monitor several variables, such as location and speed of the vehicles. The smart traffic signals can collect data from connected cars and manage lights to facilitate the flow of traffic. Subsequently, the car drivers can also be notified to reduce their speed in order to encounter green lights on every crossing.
This connected network between vehicles and the traffic management system empowers a smooth flow of traffic and also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, which makes life in cities more healthy.
Efficient utility management
The smart cities of the future must boast an efficient supply of energy and water. It is a pre-requisite without which there won’t be any meaning of defining a city smart. In the current scenario, where potable water and energy resources are constantly depleting, IoT can help cities manage the supply of utilities to the citizens.
IoT can be used by utility providers to manage resources efficiently. It institutes a robust distribution system for both water and electricity that helps provide uninterrupted supply to the citizens. Moreover, IoT can aid in the detection of water and electricity losses and empower end-users to reduce the consumption of these supplies.
IoT has also led to the development of smart meters and grids that help these utilities to distribute these resources based on distinct requirements in individual localities. This equipment can monitor the amount of water and electricity being discharged to end consumers, which further enable companies to bill their customers dynamically.
Effective waste management
Waste management is an important aspect of any city. As per statistics, the average person generates more than 0.7kg waste every day. For clean and sustainable living in a city, it is important to collect and manage this huge amount of waste.
IoT-based smart waste management systems help municipalities reduce their waste collection cost, reduce garbage surfeits in bins and even analyze the trash generated on a regular basis. This lowers the manifestation of diseases in cities and helps create a healthy neighborhood for the citizens.
The biggest concern for any person is to find a locality in a city that ascertains a safer environment for citizens. IoT-based smart cities, along with the above-mentioned benefits, also inaugurates surveillance conditions via CCTV cameras.
Even though CCTV’s are not a breakthrough piece of equipment, their embedment with face recognition capabilities via AI and machine learning technology is marvelous. These devices can be used to detect dubious people before they commit a crime. Furthermore, they can also be used by police and law enforcement to conduct search operations and establish law and justice in the city. For example, criminals can be recognized via AI-powered CCTVs and the IoT system can then instantly alarm the police.
In addition, IoT-based panic buttons and hotlines can be instituted in different corners of a city to help emergency vehicles reach an accident site quickly. Smoke and fire alarms fitted in buildings and monumental sites of a city can help the life-saving authorities in a similar fashion.
The establishment of such advanced security systems helps law enforcement and emergency vehicles to respond quickly in emergency conditions. Finally, they establish a secure and protected environment for citizens that help them live a peaceful and safe life.
The connected ecosystem developed from IoT provides countless benefits in terms of boosting efficiency, creating a sustainable environment and improving the lifestyle for the citizens. Its amalgamation with other disruptive technologies, such as AI, blockchain and machine learning, can even automate the day-to-day processes.
Smart Cities are going to be the future in which we’ll live. The investment in smart cities is expected to even cross more than $710 billion by the end of 2023. The vigorous change is clearly visible with IoT.
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