With the national pastime in ages before the television has now resulted in two nations exploding in population, the rest of the world only seems to be keeping up and while many of them not showing any signs of relent, the U.N predicts that by 2050 we shall be close to 7 million, or are we there yet already . Cities face new challenges, prevent environmental degradation, remove sanitation problems, streamline traffic congestion, and wipe out urban crime, and with such a tall order wish list the municipalities turn to the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT has the promise of mitigating the pressure of rapid urbanization, better the lives of city residents, and make everyday living more comfortable, safe and with continuous value addition.
Some of the various ways in which the IoT can aid in the early manifestation of smart cities are what you shall find to be the heart of the article.
Road traffic-The Jetsons era
Smart cities continuously have to provide to their inhabitants’ ways and means to get from point A to point B as safely and efficiently as possible. And where does one head to if one is looking to reach the aforementioned objective, the municipalities, who in turn, turn to IoT for solutions.
Smart traffic solutions use a range of different types of sensors, fetch GPS data from drivers’ smartphones to determine the number, location and the speed of vehicles, process all that is what seems to be no time at all, and while it is doing all that, smart traffic lights are connected to a cloud management platform that helps allow monitoring green light timings and automatically alter the lights based on current traffic situation to prevent congestion. If that does not impress you then it can also use historical data, smart solutions for traffic management to predict where the traffic could go and take measures to prevent potential congestion well before the traffic even gets there.
For example, most traffic-affected cities in the world have implemented a smart traffic solution to control traffic flow. Road-surface sensors and closed-circuit television cameras send real-time updates about the traffic flow to a central traffic management platform that acts as a hub. The hub processes the data and intimates all the hub users of congestion and traffic signal malfunctions via desktop user apps in one clean circle of events and to boost this the cities are taking an initiative to deploy smart controllers to automate the traffic lights adjustments to real-time basis.
The data generated from IoT sensors can help city planners to discover how citizens use transport. Public transportation operators can use this data to create a better travelling experience, achieve a higher level of safety and compound their reliability indices. If one seeks a far more sophisticated analysis, smart public transport solutions are capable in any way to combine multiple sources, such as ticket sales and traffic information merge all of the constraints and parameters in one logical sequence in multiple permutations and combinations, thus always having more than one solution to render during peak times of operations.
Aided by the power of GPS data from drivers’ smartphones or road-surface sensors embedded in the ground on parking spots, smart parking solutions can find for you whether the parking spots are occupied or available and create a real-time parking map for the times when you need to find the closest unoccupied parking spot and get, drivers could then receive a notification and use the map on their phone to find a parking spot faster and easier instead driving in circles across multiple levels.
Smart Disaster Management
This is another area where with the aid of smart smoke density detecting sensors, heat-sensing sensors laid within the building premises and coupled with the interfacing of the cities CCTV network to a centralized hub, one can, sitting at any remote location in the world be able to respond to any and every disaster management call and aid this system with an earthquake sensing mechanism and one has one of the best ways of minimizing the losses in the eventuality of one happening.
From today, through all tomorrows
From parking spaces, to casino palaces, from firefighting units to efficient urban garden sprinkler solutions, from seamless travel in any sphere, smart energy-efficient lighting solutions to most cost-effective waste collection methods ,the role of IoT cannot be undermined at any stage in the history of human development from today ,up till the coming tomorrows.