Top 5 Applications of IoT in Building Smart Cities

November 12, 2020 by Stefanini
Applications of IoT technologies in smart cities have limitless applications in smart cities. Learn about the ways cities are transforming in our Trends blog!

 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, people continue to move to or visit cities for several reasons, including employment opportunities, lifestyle, and more.

Recent U.S. Census Bureau data revealed that all but one of the twenty largest cities in the U.S. experienced population growth in 2019. Interestingly, with the exception of New York City, the fifteen cities that experienced the greatest population growth were located in the southern and western portions of the country.

As this migration trend continues, cities will need to become more efficient in order to keep up with the surging population. Thus, smart cities supported by applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) will start to become the norm in the major metropolitan areas around the world.

Some Examples of IoT in Smart Cities

As we’ve explored in previous articles, smart cities use IoT devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data. The cities then use this data to improve infrastructure, public utilities and services, and more. Further, in order to reduce costs and improve the quality of their buildings, building managers around the world are starting to incorporate IoT solutions and devices into their infrastructures.

According to a recent survey from Daintree Networks, almost 60% of building managers in the U.S. are familiar with IoT. Further, 43% believe that in the next two to three years, the IoT will shape how they operate their buildings. One area that would benefit from IoT technologies lies in lighting, as building managers could switch to LED bulbs in order to save energy and money.

Earlier this year, London announced that it would begin tests on a smart parking project that would allow drivers to quickly locate parking spaces rather than spending copious amounts of time conducting lengthy searches for an open spot. This, in turn, is projected to lessen urban traffic congestion. Additionally, London also plans on testing electric car and bike-sharing programs.

In Denmark, Copenhagen has started using sensors to monitor the city's bike traffic in real time, which provides valuable data on improving bike routes in the city. This breakthrough is hugely monumental, as more than 40% of the city's residents commute by bike daily.

Even though North America is the most urbanized region in the world, with more than 80% of its population in urban centers, it has fallen behind in the adoption of smart cities. Yet, there are plenty of smart city solutions related to public safety and traffic that are up and running.

For instance, New York City has tested gunshot detection technology in police precincts in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and the mayor wants to expand this testing around the city. Camden, New Jersey has also implemented similar smart city technology.

In 2015, the Big Apple also piloted a connected car program. Its goal? Learn where drivers make frequent hard brakes or sharp turns because of traffic. This open data could then be used by officials alleviate traffic and improve road conditions.

Finally, San Diego has started using cameras built into connected streetlights to monitor pedestrian traffic and reroute cars during peak hours to avoid pedestrian accidents and lessen congestion.

Applications of IoT in Smart Cities

When cities face issues brought on by population density, a plethora of problems can arise, such as air pollution, freshwater scarcity, mountains of garbage, and an increase in traffic. How can we deal with these challenges? According to Finextra, smart cities can leverage IoT and smart technologies in the following ways:

1.      Smart Infrastructure

Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important for cities to have the conditions for continuous development; buildings and urban infrastructures must be planned more efficiently and sustainably. Cities should also invest in electric cars and self-propelled vehicles to keep CO2 emissions low. In fact, intelligent technologies to achieve an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly infrastructure. For example, to reduce the need for electrical power, smart lighting only gives light when someone actually walks past smart lights; setting brightness levels and tracking daily use are both important components of smart lights.

2.      Air Quality Management

Smart cities also are implementing tools that can capture pollution data in real time and forecast emissions. Being able to predict air pollution accurately allows cities to get to the root of their emissions problems and brainstorm strategic ways to limit the amount of air pollution they put out.

3.      Traffic Management

One of the greatest challenges facing large cities is finding ways to optimize traffic. Yet, finding a solution is not impossible. For example, Los Angeles is one of the busiest cities in the world and has implemented an intelligent transport solution to control the traffic flow. Pavement integrated sensors send real-time updates of traffic flow to a central traffic management platform, which analyses the data and automatically adjusts traffic lights to the traffic situation within seconds. At the same time, historical data is used to predict where traffic can go – and none of these processes require human involvement.

4.      Smart Parking

Cities are also leveraging intelligent parking solutions that identify when a vehicle has left the parking area. Sensors are built into the ground and report the location of free parking spaces via a mobile app the driver downloads. Others use vehicle feedback to precisely pinpointing the location of openings and guide waiting cars down the path of least resistance. Smart Parking is a reality today and does not require complicated infrastructure and a high investment, making this smart city application ideal for a mid-sized smart city initiative.

5.      Smart Waste Management

Waste management solutions help to optimize the efficiency of waste collection and reduce operational costs while better addressing any and all environmental issues associated with inefficient waste collection. In these solutions, the waste container receives a level sensor; when a certain threshold is reached, the management platform of a truck driver receives a notification via their smartphone. The message helps them avoid half empty drains by appearing to empty a full container.

Stefanini is Making Cities Smarter

Smart City projects are always running and are in need of a 24/7 solution that is non-stop, offers complete liability, and full availability.

We offer a variety of solutions, deploying the most modern communication and network technologies and promoting world-class stability. In real-time, we select the most modern and high-performance technologies and deploy them under certified excellence.

Through deeply-studied models, we leverage the excellence of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence in the solution. Finally, accuracy is our middle name; from the most modern sensors and IoT components to the Decision-Making outcomes, Stefanini delivers high rates of accuracy within the Smart Solution.

We’ll work with you to transform your city services using IoT technologies. Learn more here!

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