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IoT And Smart Cities-Use Cases And Implementation Strategies-Part I

by Pushp Kumar Dutt on January 5, 2019

Two-third of the world's population is estimated to live in cities by 2050, according to the United Nations. This dramatic urban explosion is already placing a huge burden on the existing infrastructure. Things can only get worse from here with more and more making the move to urban living.

New challenges would be sprouted and the existing ones would be exacerbated with these city expansion explosions across the world. These are just some of the reasons why municipalities across the world are now turning to the Internet of Things to reduce costs, enhance the quality of services, and improve interaction and communication.

Today, world governments are emphasizing on the concept of smart cities. In layman terms, a smart city can be defined as an innovative city that makes the use of information and communication technologies and other different means. This is done with a predefined purpose to offer digital connectivity, enhance the quality of life, improve the efficiency of operations and services in urban areas, and enable better and informed decision making. Throughout this, the implementors of smart cities ensure that the final deliverables are capable enough to fully satisfy the requirements of present and future generations in the context of social, economic, and environmental aspects.

IoT has the potential to help cities that are facing new opportunities and challenges. The Internet of Things offers solutions to thwart urban crime, avoid sanitation problems, mitigate traffic congestion, and prevent environmental deterioration. Furthermore, it can even tame the ever-evolving pressure of urbanization, make day-to-day living more secure and comfortable, and create innovative and better experiences for the city residents.

IoT Use Cases For Smart Cities

IoT-powered use cases for smart cities span multiple areas, from enhancing public safety to contributing to a healthier environment and from optimizing street lighting to smart meters & billing.

Let us now access an overview of the most popular IoT use cases for smart cities across the globe.

Road Traffic

Smart cities ensure that their residents get from point A to point B as efficiently and safely as possible. Municipalities, across the world, turn to the Internet of Things for formulating and implementing smart traffic solutions. These solutions make use of a wide range of sensors and also fetch the Global Positioning System (GPS) data from smartphones of drivers to accurately, precisely, and thoroughly determine the location, number, and the speed of vehicles.

At the same time, smart traffic lights that are connected to a Cloud management platform facilitate the monitoring of green light timings. They automatically alter the lights on the basis of the present traffic situation for preventing the incidents of congestion. Additionally, smart traffic management solutions can predict whether the traffic should move (on the basis of historical data) and what all measures should be taken for preventing potential congestion.

Smart Parking

Smart parking solutions, which are powered by GPS data from road surface sensors that are embedded in the ground on parking spots and from the smartphones of drivers, identify whether the parking spots are available or occupied. By doing this, they facilitate the creation of a real-time parking map. A driver receives a notification when the parking spot closest to him or her is free. The driver can make use of maps on their phones for identifying a parking spot easily and quickly instead of just blindly driving around.

In the second and last part of this two-part series, we will be accessing more IoT use cases to develop a clear and complete understanding about how the Internet of Things is revolutionizing the beautiful world around us.

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