Smart cities use Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data. The cities then use this data to improve infrastructure, public utilities and services, and more.
A smart city is a framework, predominantly composed of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), to develop, deploy, and promote sustainable development practices to address growing urbanization challenges.
A big part of this ICT framework is essentially an intelligent network of connected objects and machines that transmit data using wireless technology and the cloud.
Cloud-based IoT applications receive, analyze, and manage data in real-time to help municipalities, enterprises, and citizens make better decisions that improve quality of life.
Citizens engage with smart city ecosystems in a variety of ways using smartphones and mobile devices, as well as connected cars and homes. Pairing devices and data with a city’s physical infrastructure and services can cut costs and improve sustainability.
Communities can improve energy distribution, streamline trash collection, decrease traffic congestion, and even improve air quality with help from the IoT. For instance,
Connected traffic lights receive data from sensors and cars adjusting light cadence and timing to respond to real-time traffic, thereby reducing road congestion.
Connected cars can communicate with parking meters and electric vehicle (EV) charging docks and direct drivers to the nearest available spot. Smart garbage cans automatically send data to waste management companies and schedule pick-up as needed versus on a pre-planned schedule. And citizens’ smartphone becomes their mobile driver’s license and ID card with digital credentials, which speeds and simplifies access to the city and local government services.
Together, these smart city technologies are optimizing infrastructure, mobility, public services, and utilities.