Emerging - List of Emerging Technologies and Their Applications in Smart Cities
May 20, 2022

The growing efforts toward smart cities are expected to develop a new future in terms of infrastructure. Various countries across the world are focusing on investing in smart cities due to their potential scope. Apart from that, companies are also putting efforts on developing their smart cities and reach new heights. For instance, Toyota made headlines in February 2021 as the company unveiled its new ambitious project, Woven City. Toyota’s plan to build a smart city will focus on connecting mobility research and other solutions and develop a new digitized world. In addition to that, the firm also received 3000 individual and corporation applications demanding project partnerships. 

Emerging Technologies in Smart Cities

Various governments have been working on a smart city ecosystem to change the outlook of their respective countries. Japan, being one of the prominent countries on the list, has been introducing various smart city projects for many years now. Nearly 200 companies, combined with the universities, and local governments, have inked agreements with Smart City Institute Japan to collaborate on these new initiatives. The country has been working on the projects from all perspectives, including smart waste management, smart transportation management, automation of public buildings, smart government, smart pollution measuring & controlling carbon impression, etc. The industry is forecast to experience exceptional growth in the country in the coming years. According to a study by Astute Analytica, the Japan Emerging Technologies in Smart Cities Market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2027. Here is the list of emerging technologies contributing to this new era of smart cities:

The Advent Of 5G:

5G technology is forecast to have a strong foothold in the future until the emergence of new ground-breaking technology. 5G networks are a significant step up from 4G networks in terms of speed and latency, allowing users to download HD quality film in seconds while enjoying live streaming and gaming on their smartphone. 5G technology can be promising for smart cities, which connect billions of connected smart objects. Here is the list of applications depicting how 5G can be beneficial for smart cities. The smart city of today is focused on improving the lives of its inhabitants through the use of sensors and the data they collect.

Cities like Austin, Singapore, and Dubai have started setting up an interconnected network of devices and sensors to gather valuable information about what makes them gain some intriguing insights in the process.

Transportation:

Aside from huge advances in autonomous vehicles, public transportation is becoming smarter. Many cities will now be able to provide travellers with real-time network updates, and alerts on the busiest areas on trains or where to go to rent a bicycle or electric scooter. 5G can help authorities analyse existing public transportation routes and determine usage peaks and troughs. 

Conserving Energy

Energy is the basic demand for every household and commercial place. The rising need for energy in buildings, office blocks, and shopping malls requires smart energy policies to eliminate waste. For instance, automatically turning off heating or air conditioning when no one is using it can save energy to an extent. But how 5G can contribute to this new era of smart cities? 5G capabilities to connect more devices than ever before will be the primary factor driving this transformation. 

Sensors:

Sensors have become another key component in the establishment of smart cities, which allow devices to connect. The primary role of sensors is to capture and transmit data to the cloud for computing. In addition to that, sensors interconnect every device. These building blocks ensure the smooth functioning of the city. Infrared sensors, thermal sensors, proximity sensors, light sensors, etc., are some of the widely used sensors in smart cities. Moreover, these sensors find applications across a myriad of segments. Here is the list of applications depicting how sensors are the basic necessity in the construction of any smart city. 

Air And Noise Pollution

Sensors are used to monitor, control, and curb air and noise pollution to enable a healthy environment. For instance, Flowbird unveiled its “Park & Breathe” system, which can efficiently measure air and noise pollution across urban areas. 

Parking

Smart sensors enable a smart-parking environment. These sensors facilitate communication with a gateway to offer real-time parking information. 

Traffic Monitoring

Another crucial application of sensors is traffic monitoring and management. Traffic has become a matter of concern due to the growing population. Sensors collect information related to traffic flow, vehicle length, and speed. 

Environmental Pollution

Sensors also play an essential role in gathering data related to the environment, specifically focusing on pollution levels. These sensors also find a wide range of applications in collecting real-time data on weather and storms, air quality, forest, agriculture systems, etc. 

Smart Buildings and Offices:

Sensors in smart-city workplaces are becoming universal, and many new sensors in buildings are appearing. These sensors play different roles, such as temperature sensors monitoring temperature changes, while humidity sensors measure the amount of water in the air and turn on when a certain level is reached. In addition to that, proximity sensors detect the presence of an object and measure its proximity, while pressure sensors detect pressure and notify the system administrator if it deviates from the standard.

Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing has already taken a vital place across all industrial verticals, and smart cities are no exception. Cloud computing mainly allows users to have on-request self-service and broad network access. In addition to that, the flexibility of cloud computing is the major concept driving its adoption across the world. The major role of cloud computing is to transmit the information collected from the city into IoT devices that enables the computing infrastructure. Further, cloud computing enables efficient data management. Moreover, it ensures that the changes happen consistently and efficiently. 

Smart cities use resources that have a direct impact on the environment. To address this issue, cities are investigating sustainable solutions, such as improved decision-making, planning, design, management, and resourcing that adhere to sustainability principles. The major benefit of cloud computing is that it enables sustainable infrastructure. 

Big Data Analytics:

Big Data is another crucial part of smart cities, which allows large computational and storage facilities aimed at processing streams of data. Big data application offers a myriad of applications listed below: 

Smart Mobility and Transportation

Population in cities is growing at a substantial pace, and transportation is one of the crucial components of cities. Big Data has a promising future due to its role in decongesting smart cities in the coming years. Big Data allows cities to be observed closely in order to list out the highly congested cities.  

Smart Energy Management

The looming global energy crisis necessitates not only a shift away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable renewable alternatives, but also effective energy management. Everything from individual streetlights to energy use across individual power grids can be closely examined using big data to improve energy distribution efficiency.

Public Health

The use of big data in smart cities could significantly improve public health. From identifying high-risk areas for disease spread and implementing preventive measures to smarter medical record-keeping, faster diagnoses, and improved overall patient care.

Intelligent Governance

With a greater flow of data from citizens, stronger bridges between citizens and the government can be built. Governments can address local issues more quickly and develop a citizen-centered governance model that increases transparency between the government and the populace.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: 

Smart mobility, Smart buildings, Smart healthcare, etc., are just the tip of the iceberg. Augmented and virtual reality are becoming the new normal in the smart city ecosystem. Technology does an outstanding job, particularly in the advancement of urban areas. AR is a hypnotic technology that superimposes computerized content on the user’s actual environment. AR has progressed sufficiently to expand its level of accessibility and ease of use to the individual market. VR technology, on the other hand, has a significant impact on the healthcare industry.  The middle trademark that underpins most of these segments is that they are related and generate data, which can be intelligently used to ensure optimal resource utilization and improve execution. 

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