“The smart city is making incredible strides — especially in Europe — harnessing ingredient technologies such as artificial intelligence, sensors, data analytics, connectivity and more to change our lives for the better. Smart cities make daily life in our communities more efficient, reduce environmental impact, improve city services, create jobs and benefit the economy. They make us safer and offer greater accessibility. And with two-thirds of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, now is the time to harness technology’s potential to improve urban life.” — Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, Consumer Technology Association.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates, we can look forward to a much safer and more livable world. Our cities are becoming increasingly overcrowded, which results in a multitude of dangerous and unpleasant realities for urban citizens. According to the United Nations, the current 55% of the world’s population that lives in cities will skyrocket to 66% by the year 2050. This urbanization, when combined with the rise in overall population, is projected to add 2.5 billion people to cities over the next 30 or so years.
Clearly, this situation is not going to improve without radical action. Fortunately, smart environments, powered by IoT, are positioned to help alleviate many of these challenges. New services are being developed to allow for a quicker response to threats, such as remotely connected CCTV and automated incident detection. And IOT led crowd-management solutions will increase the protection of city-dwellers living in busy areas. Smart street lighting is another measure intended to lower crime rates and improve driving conditions, both of which will increase the safety of urban citizens.
Although many concerns exist about autonomous vehicles, the reality is that these robo-cars will eventually reduce road accidents dramatically. The vast majority of collisions are caused by human error or distraction, and the congestion in our cities is making it increasingly difficult to commute. Autonomous vehicles hold the potential to radically reduce overcrowding through more efficient driving, while massively decreasing both minor and major accidents on our roads.
IoT is enabling the enhancement of all city services. From improved efficiency in public resources, including healthcare, transportation, and education, to the significant economic growth resulting from better city management, smart environments carry the promise of a safer and more sustainable world for us all.
Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.