Short Description: Over the years, the heterogeneous presence of IoT technology has led to a digital invasion into non-connected devices including home appliance, surveillance cameras, vehicles, etc. With this radical expanse, IoT has successfully been used to deploy technology-driven town-ship to create Smart Cities. Pushing the boundaries of municipal development, Government bodies have started incorporating IoT to build Smart Cities.

Over the years, the heterogeneous presence of IoT technology has led to a digital invasion into non-connected devices including home appliance, surveillance cameras, vehicles, etc. With this radical expanse, IoT has successfully been used to deploy technology-driven town-ship to create Smart Cities. Pushing the boundaries of municipal development, Government bodies have started incorporating IoT to build Smart Cities.

According to Pike Research on Smart Cities, it is estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars by 2020 will be invested towards the development of Smart Cities. The possibility of using technology across different domains to transform ‘Things’ into smart ‘Entities’ when integrated with sensors, connectivity gateways applications has made every byte of data collected an opportunity for both businesses and consumers alike. With a plethora of technological advancements readily available, the potential of improving public services has increased exponentially. From finance, transport, telecommunication, and energy, IoT smart cities create layered systems of data management to build efficient systems.

A key element of IoT enablement in Smart Cities is the ability to address and resolve challenges faced by modern cities. Growing and migrating populations across the world has made it difficult for city administrators to keep pace with growing demands and efficient discharge of services as they are faced with critical problems including

1. Limited resources 

Growing economies across the world have started to face issues with the availability of resources for the development of the township. Due to the inefficient system to monitor and regulate consumption of water and energy, the government finds investment in infrastructure to be a luxury. With the depleting MNC investment towards infrastructural growth, sustainability and growth are also hindered.

2. Increasing capital expenditure

According to the United Nations Population Fund, by 2030, roughly 66%, or 5 billion people will live in urban areas. As a result, public-sector undertakings focus more on sustaining the economy than building better amenities for the citizens. The complexity of technological advancements combined with limited budgets allocated for capital expenditure has resulted in citizens’ increasing concern over government services.

Why has IoT emerged as a component of Smart cities mission?

1. Connected Transport Systems

IoT has become a strong component in the transportation industry by introducing autonomous vehicles and improved cargo management systems for cities. With the growing advances in interconnected systems, smart trains have become a reality with connected machines interacting with each other to continuously transmit data thus reducing safety risks and increasing efficiency of the transportation system within smart cities.

2. Intelligent Traffic Signalling

Integrating IoT devices such as connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) to monitor traffic allows vehicles to move through junctions without the use of traffic signal. These CAVs are connected to an intelligent intersection that collects data from different vehicles on the road thus avoiding traffic commotion and reduces fuel consumption. According to research conducted by International Journal Of Engineering And Computer Science, the intelligent intersection reduces the average vehicle delay by 85%, fuel consumption by 50%, and emissions by 39%-50%.

3. Energy Metering/Street Lighting

The need for smart street lighting emerged with the primary motive to reduce energy and labor costs. As smart cities replace street lights with LED lights, a remote monitoring and metering system allows full control over the consumption of energy.

Some of the benefits of governance and citizen experiences by IoT enabling cities results in creating a holistic approach to handling urban situations and constraints.

1. Increases transparency

With a potential of remodeling an entire city, IoT is of particular interest among public sector undertaking in the fields of healthcare, retail, transport sectors which also requires large scale Government to Customer (G2C) service delivery.

2. Addresses issues collectively

Targeting issues including waste management, air quality, traffic congestion, energy management, the infinite possibilities of improving city living are now possible through IoT implementation in Smart Cities. With an app called myResponder, Singapore Civil Defence force created a crowd-sourced database of all individuals who can effectively do CPR. With the help of this app, over 400 cases of medical assistance have been provided before the arrival of an ambulance. The existence of these apps allows the public to contribute to the issues quickly.

3. Significant public participation in government administration

Singapore recently launched an app called Beeline that focuses on creating a public transportation system that is aligned with the needs of the users. Thriving on data from different applications, IoT inevitably involves the public thus allowing them to be active participants in the development of Smart Cities. With the crowdsourced data, transportation has increasingly become efficient and relevant for the public. These interoperable systems become vital to IoT infrastructure in Smart Cities.

4. Optimized use of resources

Tracking individual household consumption with careful planning, precise business models could be formulated for proper allocation of assets.  As both public and government bodies collaborate, real beneficiaries of resource optimization will be smart city dwellers.

While several newer ideas can be implemented, using appropriate technology, and understanding the city landscape in its entirety is key to successful IoT implementation. Focusing on the main aspects of IoT architecture including IoT connectivity, IoT management platform, and IoT applications enable the creation of Smart cities.