Approximately 66 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 according to the United Nations. This rapid urban growth is already placing a considerable strain on the existing infrastructure, and with more people making the move to urban living, it’s only going to get worse in the coming years.
To accommodate this new demand on cities, municipalities around the globe are turning to the Internet of Things to enhance their services, reduce costs, and improve communication and interaction. Though the potential is there for IoT to improve nearly every aspect of urban living, there are three IoT applications for smart cities.
A more efficient water supply
The Internet of Things has the potential to transform the way cities consume water. Smart meters can improve leak detection and data integrity; prevent lost revenue due to inefficiency; and boost productivity by reducing the amount of time spent entering and analyzing data. Also, these meters can be designed to feature customer-facing portals, providing residents with real-time access to information about their consumption and water supply.
An innovative solution to traffic congestion
As more and more people move to cities, traffic congestion – which is already a massive problem – is only going to get worse. Fortunately, the Internet of Things is well positioned to make improvements in this area that can benefit residents immediately. For example, smart traffic signals can adjust their timing to accommodate commutes and holiday traffic and keep cars moving. City officials can collect and aggregate data from traffic cameras, mobile phones, vehicles, and road sensors to monitor traffic incidents in real-time. Drivers can be alerted of accidents and directed to routes that are less congested. The possibilities are endless and the impact will be substantial.
More reliable public transportation
Public transportation is disrupted whenever there are road closures, bad weather, or equipment breakdowns. IoT can give transit authorities the real-time insights they need to implement contingency plans, ensuring that residents always have access to safe, reliable, and efficient public transportation.
For governments to successfully increase efficiency, enhance their services, and improve the quality of life for their residents, they need a platform that can power IoT applications for smart cities. The right one will aggregate, process, and interpret the data that smart devices generate, ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to take these cities into the new era of connectivity.