A smart city is an integrated urban region that applies various kinds of sensors and electronic systems to gather information from all around it. Such data are then used to efficiently manage services, resources and assets effectively; and, at the same time, that information is also used in a way to enhance the overall performance across the entire city. These smart cities function efficiently on several levels: infrastructure, citizenry and community involvement. At the infrastructure level, these intelligent cities incorporate technological solutions such as mass transit, digital signage, automated driving assistance, smarter traffic lights and improved emergency communication. At the same time, smart city solutions help the citizens of the smart city get connected to each other and to the wider world. Here is a description of the types of sensors and systems that intelligent cities use:
Smart City Interoperability: In a smart city, the entire infrastructure is interconnected with each other, as one city functions as the platform for the other. In fact, all the major modes of communication are run through the same infrastructure. For instance, when you call a cab in the City A, the driver will contact the City B where your request was made; and, if your call is forwarded to City C, the driver will make his/her way to City D. However, this kind of interoperation is only possible with comprehensive mesh of city transport infrastructures such as buses, railroads, telecommunication companies and the likes. However, when you talk about an intelligent system that encompasses a broader scope such as the City Network, you get the concept of multiple networks operating together. The smart city network not only incorporates the major modes of transportation, but also includes information technology infrastructures such as email, web and video networking as well.
Smart Technologies: When we refer to smart technologies, we are actually talking about the applications and the sensors that are built into the machinery and other electronic gadgets being used in the smart city environment. Such applications and sensors facilitate monitoring, diagnostics and maintenance. In fact, there is now a widespread usage of robotic machines or ‘robo-taxis’ as they are often called. Such robots can work 24 hours without human supervision. This aspect has made the whole concept of smart city initiatives popular in today’s scenario.
Economic Growth: The smart city uses its technological assets extensively to boost the economic growth of its citizens. There are several initiatives being taken by various governmental organizations and private organizations to use such infrastructures to their fullest. For instance, the Dubai authorities have launched several programs that will enable the emirate to become a regional leader in the economic growth of the Middle East. Similarly, in India, there are initiatives taken by the government to develop the economy and attract more businesses and investors. Due to the presence of several such infrastructures, citizens feel safe in investing in the real estate market as the overall economic situation does not depend on the state, but on the number of industrial parks established in the cities.
Healthy Environment: The smart city will continue to promote an improved environment for its citizens. There will be complete involvement of citizens from different walks of life to ensure that the general health of the people is maintained well. For instance, swimming will be banned in most of the areas under the jurisdiction of the smart city. Thus, it will ensure an improved and healthy environment for its residents.
Artificial Intelligence: Today, almost all the industries and other departments are using sophisticated technologies for the day-to-day activities. However, the smart cities are adopting new technologies for enhancing the efficiency and productivity of its human resources. For instance, the artificial intelligence systems that are used by the smart cities are designed and developed for improving the efficiency and productivity of the city’s human resource. For instance, the traffic lights of the smart cities will be able to adjust according to the traffic flow patterns and will also help the drivers to avoid sudden bumps and accidents.
Energy Efficiency: Another smart technologies that are being implemented by the smart cities is energy efficiency. Today, most of the citizens are very interested in saving their electricity bills. This is because the rate of increase of electricity bills has been increasing over a period of time. Therefore, joining-up with a smart city can ensure that the energy efficiency is improved.
The smart city concept is all about providing solutions for its citizens. If we study the overall structure of a smart city, we can easily understand how these cities are structured. It is made up of different layers. First of all, the virtual or online community of the citizens will be formed. Then, each citizen will be provided with a smart phone based applications. Last but not the least; each citizen will have the access to the same information which are made available through the smart phones.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.