The Future of Technology in Smart Cities

Smart cities are fast becoming the new norm of urbanization.  Transforming an urbanized area to more comfortable place for the occupants with added facilities , infrastructure and safety is the objective of building smart city.  At the advent of newer technologies ,cities are becoming smarter enhancing quality of life of citizen.  With so many people moving into urban areas, it is evident that in the long run future of cities’ infrastructure  will be vulnerable and unfit for inhabitants unless all facilities are improved and best technologies are used to make it happens This article will try to elaborate what are the smarter technologies are going to be adopted to make populated cities even smarter. Basic infrastructure such as transport  system and mobility infrastructure , supply of utilities such as electricity, water , fuel energy , medical facilities and access to all other civil services have been revolutionized taking advantage of availability of newer technologies like  various intelligent sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and communication networks and control systems. The future of technology in smart cities is bright, thanks to innovative technologies  like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), blockchain technology, and other AI-powered innovations. We need to put our effort to keep our living place carbon free &green and smart city helps to maintain sustainability most effectively. This article will discuss , what are the path breaking technologies that will enable authority to transform a city to a smart city.

What is a smart city and why technology is crucial for it

A smart city is an urban area where citizen experiences facilities that are smart enough to provide them better comfort , better health care and safety.  Technology has a pivotal role in building a smart city. Newer technologies have been applied to improve the efficiency of city facilities, regular operations and services, including energy and resource supplies, transportation, healthcare  and law & safety enforcement. There are many ways to define a “smart city,” but the general idea is that a city should be advanced in terms of its infrastructure facilities backed by advanced technologies. . A city operation is a complex system. With a large number of people, industries, services and buildings all operating at the same time, it is expected that there will be challenging issues. In fact, issues are inevitable. A smart city uses digital technology to reduce these problems and improve the quality of life for everyone. Authority of the city administration can improve its service in a particular sector utilizing advanced technology but a smart city is a combination of systems that work together to make the city better for comfortable living. Its cleaner air, healthier people, easy and comfortable transportation , efficient traffic control , and more opportunities in civil services. The city serves the citizen in most intelligent ways and hence the smart city. Smart city ensures sustainability of the nature and society and all that is possible through proper deployment of technologies.

New Technologies in Transportation in smart cities

One of the most important aspects of a smart city is the efficient use of public transport. After all, transport system  is what millions of people has to depend on this city facility on every single day. With the rise of technology around autonomous vehicles, it only makes sense to implement all those and other niche technologies to transform public transport more agile and efficient in operation. Let us cite examples of a few technology based transportation projects here that are being adopted in many countries.

One of the most ambitious and exciting projects of this kind is the Hyperloop – One Global Challenge. This contest invites people all around the world to come up with ways to implement Hyperloop technology in their regions. The winning projects will be able to use the technology for free in exchange for being able to share the data and insights from their developments. Another project that is worth highlighting is the SkyTran Personal Rapid Transit system. This project has been planned for many different cities around the world, including Tel Aviv, Shanghai, and more. There are also similar projects underway that plan to use autonomous taxis or self-driving public buses to increase the efficiency of public transportation.

Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in smart cities

Artificial intelligence is becoming an important technology that is going to impact major  parts of modern life. It is now a standard practice to explore utilization of AI in all sorts of industry operations and in our day-to-day life. It ishighly desirable to leverage AI strength to bring in smart services in highly populated cities. AI can process a lot of information quickly and use it to make important decisions. With smart cities, AI is used to handle high volume data and analysis of the same to upgrade smart services of the modern cities. This can include managing public transportation in time, monitoring pollution levels and predicting possible hazards before that grip the citizen. AI can even be used to help monitor public health at random.

One of the critical parts of the adoption of AI technologies for smart is AI-powered sensors. These sensors can track everything from pollution levels to the volume of foottraffic in a certain area. AI can also be used to manage essential resources in a more efficient way. For example, AI powered solution in  city’s power grid can be used to schedule use of power during prescheduled time of the day when there is less demand. It is an intelligent balance between demand and supply of most important resource like electric power.

Blockchain and smart cities

Common perception about Block Chain technology is this that it is only useful for financial sectors. A lot of people are not aware that blockchain technology is currently being used beyond financial domains and it is not just for the world of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain can be used to create secure and transparent ledger systems that let people tracking  any type of important data. Smart cities use blockchain technology to create secure and efficient systems utilizing those relevant data. This can include systems for managing public transportation, coordinating public services, tracking energy use, and more. One of the most exciting uses of blockchain in smart cities is blockchain-based energy grids. These grids can let users buy and sell energy with each other, creating a more efficient system that puts less strain on the grid and its management.  The blockchain can also be used to create secure networks among citizen of the city and their houses. This can let people track everything from the amount of waste in a certain area to the number of people in a given building.

Virtual reality in smart cities

Virtual Reality ( VR)  is still a relatively new technology, but it is  making its mark in the world of smart cities. With VR, people can visualize different aspects of the city and how they work. For example, planners can use VR to create walkthroughs of new buildings or areas. VR is also used to create simulations. Cities can use simulation software to predict what would happen during different weather conditions, emergencies, or other situations. VR can also be used to help people in the city during their crying needs.  This could include showing them how to get to a certain location or helping them find the nearest medical facility. VR is a powerful tool for smart cities that can used for upgrade of citizen services.

Bottom Line

Population density of a city and need for fail proof citizen services of a city are increasing at tandem. This is enforcing a tough task for city administration to facilitate a satisfactory and effective services to the inhabitants of any city of the world. The task is challenging and often becomes beyond control inviting a chaos in city’s regular operations which has long term impact on citizens. That calls for introducing self-sufficient intelligent infrastructures and associated facilities. We have observed significant improvement of transportation systems, utility services , healthcare systems, safety and other amenities  of modern cities over past twenty-five years. More advanced technologies are being deployed to convert the city a smarter one to make the city more comfortable for living.