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Smart City Technologies That Could Soon Change The Way We Live And Work

Smart City Technologies That Could Soon Change The Way We Live And Work

The technical definition of a smart city—an urban area in which technology and sensors are used to collect data for resource management—may not sound all that exciting to the average citizen. While the “nuts and bolts” technology behind smart cities, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, is becoming better understood, what many people may not realize is just how big an impact combined smart city technologies could have on the ways we live and work in the coming years.

From easier-to-access, more efficient services to lowering citizens’ overall carbon footprint, the many smart city technologies both here and on the horizon could reduce costs, enhance safety, better protect the environment and improve our quality of life. Below, 13 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss new and developing smart city technologies they believe will genuinely improve the way urban areas function.

1. Smart Parking Spots

Smart parking spots offer a viable solution to parking management problems in urban areas with a scarcity of available parking spaces. This innovation will allow citizens to book parking reservations via a mobile app, reducing the time spent searching for parking spots, minimizing urban traffic, lowering our carbon footprint and saving fuel. – Steve Richmond, Projetech

2. Automated Order Fulfillment

There will be more automation for the fulfillment of last-mile delivery, from e-commerce to food delivery to pharmaceuticals. As we see more strain on our labor pool and limited space for delivery vehicles, look for smaller-form, automated robots to fill the gap. – Guy Courtin, Tecsys Inc.


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3. Water Conservation Technology

Leveraging live weather data and the IoT to optimize water use will go mainstream. Water conservation is critical to making sure water is available for future generations, and we should leverage technology to maximize water conservation. – Selva Pandian, DemandBlue

4. Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars that reach full autonomy will fundamentally change how smart cities function. With self-driving cars, smart cities will be able to automate all aspects of transportation, which will have profound effects on access to food, medicine, shelter and other necessities. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

5. Alternative Transportation

Infrastructure data empowers our smart cities and our modes of transportation. Today, people use alternative transportation capabilities—such as electric vehicles and e-bikes—and benefit from the use of 4G, 5G and IoT sensors to better understand traffic patterns, trends and impacts via AI, shortening commute time, mitigating wasteful idling and reducing climate impact overall. – Jason Carolan, Flexential

6. Smart Traffic System Management

Traffic system technology will create safer and more livable cities. Traffic deaths in the U.S. are at a 16-year high. Leveraging cloud-based software can reduce operational silos between traffic systems and emergency personnel, integrate centralized command centers and allow us to implement smart sensors. This will allow quicker emergency response times, which could be the difference between life and death. – Andrew McCloskey, AVEVA

7. Environmental Management

We cannot think of smart cities without thinking of smart environment management, which depends on the innovative climate and geospatial technologies driven by AI and data analytics. They have the potential to improve our response to climate change and the overall environmental quality in smart cities. – Yasin Altaf, GoodCore Software

8. Internet Mesh Nets

Living in the modern age requires the internet. A smart city’s population must, in its entirety, be connected. In cities such as New York, mesh nets are making connectivity available to all. Buildings throughout the city form a series of connected router nodes and internet exchange points. Highly secure and decentralized, these systems can maintain communication when the broader internet infrastructure fails. – Nicholas Domnisch, EES Health

9. 5G

The 5G rollout is quickly unfolding and catching leaders’ attention, with EY research finding that 56% of enterprises in the U.K. plan to invest in 5G within three years. 5G is not only a new wireless standard; it also has the potential to transform the future of communications, powering the next generation of augmented and virtual realities and the metaverse, which lead us to richer, more connected and collaborative digital lives. – Jeff Wong, EY

10. Proptech

As we continue to transform cities into “smart cities,” property technology—specifically, remote property management—will play an integral role in improving the way we work and live. With digital property management systems comes a better overall tenant experience, which is key in the era of hybrid work, as people are spending more and more time at home. This technology will also lead to increased efficiency on the administrative side. – Steve Van Till, Brivo

11. Adaptable Buildings

Often when someone’s personal situation changes, they have to move to a new apartment or house. What if we could stay in the same physical space by just reconfiguring it? This could mean adjusting walls to add a room for a growing family, or digital solutions to increase accessibility or ease of living and working—for example, touch-free elevator calls or robot service deliveries. – Maciej Kranz, KONE

12. Pollution And Noise Control Technology

Today, innovative tools for pollution and noise control deserve special attention. Megacities are beginning to suffocate from smog, and it is important that smart city technologies make it possible to start sounding the alarm in time and apply measures to stabilize the environmental situation. To do this, cities will use automated sensor networks and data centers everywhere. – Vasily Voropaev, Smartbrain.io

13. Blockchain-Based Services

Residents of smart cities could truly benefit from blockchain-based citizen services with service commitment and pricing. Citizens will request services, receive a committed level and price for the service (parking, accommodations and so on), and upon arrival at the venue or location, will receive the agreed-upon service. Blockchain technology will be used to commit the deal to the ledger and use proof of reputation for continuous service evaluation. – Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

What do you think?

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