Smart Cities: Improving Lives

On city, state, and national levels, government organizations are working to understand how big data technologies could transform how metro areas work. Many have begun to gather, organize, store, analyze and use insights in an effort to become more efficient and improve life for their citizens. For these leaders, the right kind of information, centralized and distributed to the right places at the right time is the key to delivering services and support that can make communities better at every level.

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the physical and the digital worlds are connecting in ways few of us ever imagined even a few years back. Many governments are starting to take advantage of IoT technology to create better cities and partnering with organizations to solve some of these tough problems. These “Smart Cities” will use digital technologies to enhance quality of life in urban areas. Let’s look at a few scenarios where IoT-based use cases could add value for governments and citizens.

  1. Smart Traffic Models

As the population increases in cities and the number of vehicles grows, traffic is only going to get worse. One of the best ways to reduce traffic jams is to collect, store and analyze data in real time from road and video sensors, GPS on vehicles, taxi credit card readers, Wi-Fi networks and CCTV to have a better understanding of traffic flows. By combining this data with construction and road closures, the city government could construct traffic models and get real-time insights about traffic performance, conditions and incidents to help optimize the flow of traffic.

  1. Smart Parking Solutions

Another side effect of increasing migration to the cities is the difficulty we face in finding a parking spot, which also leads to traffic congestion. It is estimated that about 30% of the cars circling a city at any given time are doing so as drivers look for parking. If we could reduce the time it takes drivers to find a parking spot by even a small amount, the difference in our carbon footprint could be significant. All this can be managed better with an IoT-enabled smart application for parking solution. Parking occupancy sensors could easily communicate with a gateway where data could be analyzed in real time and then sent to an app on your smartphone indicating the number of available spots and the best way to get there. Apart from letting citizens find a parking spot quickly and easily, this technology also reduces traffic congestion and emissions and helps increase city revenue.