What Are Smart Cities?
A smart city is a city that facilitates public services and improves citizen livelihood through automating operations that efficiently manage resources, execute tasks, and improve city infrastructure through IoT-based solutions. IoT solutions in smart cities collect and analyze data through sensors, actuators, and smart devices at the edge. These devices exchange information through edge and cloud computing, continuously monitoring data to provide better transport services, promote digital equity, increase security, reduce carbon emissions, and improve citizen health and wellbeing.
5 Benefits of Smart Cities
- Efficient Transportation
- Digital Equity
- Increased Security
- Low-Carbon Emission Technology
- Improve Citizen Health and Wellbeing
1. Efficient Transportation
A benefit of a smart city is the increased efficiency of public transportation through real-time data analytics of vehicular traffic. An example would be “connected cars,” referring to intelligent transit systems that provide location data for navigation and traffic management. To achieve this, sensors and cameras are installed at bus and train stations and on the vehicles themselves, allowing traffic managers to monitor commuters and car traffic, allowing for accurate forecasts and minimizing congestion on public roads.
2. Digital Equity
Digital equity is a term that refers to individuals and communities who fully participate in the city’s democracy, society, and economy through internet access and smart devices. Smart cities enable civilians to input data regarding public and private services through mobile devices using the internet, such as real-time updates and immediate feedback regarding city services. As data and governing functions become increasingly decentralized, more opportunities for collaboration and self-services make smart cities an attractive place to stay. Digital equity could increase trust and satisfaction between parties as feedback and opinions are exchanged.
3. Increased Security
Another benefit of smart cities is increased security through visibility of hidden and remote areas, leading to safer neighborhoods via accessible surveillance. Through real-time monitoring by IoT devices, emergencies and accidents can be resolved at faster speeds. Examples of real-time monitoring include car-plate recognition systems and live-video analysis for security cameras.
4. Low-Carbon Emission Technology
Smart cities utilize low-carbon energy resources and can monitor energy consumption rates, allowing smart cities to conserve and manage limited resources. In addition, smart grid solutions and IoT gateways play a crucial role in the energy resources of a smart city, as they help to monitor and manage decentralized energy sources. Examples of eco-friendly energy sources in smart cities are smart streetlamps, rooftop photovoltaic units, and wind generation units.
5. Improve Citizen Health and Wellbeing
IoT devices can help improve citizen health by monitoring pollution levels in smart cities. Smart cities can detect problems around high-pollution areas and take measures to tackle these issues before they develop. Alongside digital equity, citizens can contribute towards tackling pollution issues, leading them to become active members in society. Thus, big data collection in smart cities can improve citizen health and well-being by identifying concerns allowing for more robust decision-making by smart city managers.
What Does A Smart City Need?
- Seamless Infrastructure
- Scalable Integration
- Data Analytics Competency
1. Seamless Infrastructure
A smart city would require the digital infrastructure to seamlessly integrate a network of devices, including sensors, actuators, and smart devices, powered by IoT Edge and Cloud computing applications, to provide a solid foundation for a city to transition into a smart city. This is a "smart infrastructure," where software and hardware systems manage a city's functions and services through technological tools that help collect and analyze big data to meet a smart city's efficiency, sustainability, and productivity goals.
2. Scalable Integration
Due to a city's large scale of operations, smart infrastructure must be scalable to meet growing capacities. In addition, data storage and processing capabilities must be in place for continuous development and maintenance as processes continue to add to the infrastructure. These can be guaranteed through rugged-edge hardware to promote the longevity of functions in the demanding environmental requirements of a smart city.
3. Data Analytics Competency
When digital infrastructure and scalability is in place, data will continue to grow, challenging the ability of smart cities to compile and analyze IoT data in substantial amounts. This process must be devoid of failure as they deploy mission-critical smart city services and functions. In addition to the physical infrastructure, data analytics competency is a core principle of smart cities, which comprises the essential elements of data (the raw material), analytics (the relevant information obtained to inform decision-making), followed by a feedback loop (information retrieved regarding the usage of assets that improve system operations), and adaptability (meeting current and future needs of a smart city).
Challenges of Smart Cities
- Privacy Concerns
- Cybersecurity Risk Management
1. Privacy Concerns
As more personal details are shared, privacy and security continue to be a topic of concern in the future of smart cities. Governing bodies and organizations who collect sensitive and vulnerable data must prove that the data collected is essential to smart city functions and includes the consent and awareness of the purpose of collection clear by data originators.
2. Cybersecurity Risk Management
Cyber-attacks continue to pose a significant threat to smart cities as it could compromise essential smart-city services and threaten the security and safety of smart-city dwellers. An example includes a cyber-attack that could halt operations by locking service workers out of their computer networks and systems until a ransom is paid. Therefore, cybersecurity risk management practices are essential for every smart city deployment.
Smart City Technologies
As smart cities require heavy real-time computing and analysis at the edge, the following are some technologies that assist in developing and applying smart cities.
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- Edge AI
- 5G Connectivity
- Geospatial technology
How Close Are We To Smart Cities?
Bearing in mind the above benefits, needs and technology of smart cities, some cities are better equipped to embark on their digital transition. Examples of smart city deployments today include Singapore, Helsinki, Zurich, Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Geneva, Taipei City, Amsterdam, and New York. Smart cities strive for technological advances and adapts to the pressures of global warming whilst answering the needs of users. Furthermore, as data and processes become increasingly decentralized, public participation will play a key role in defining the trajectory of smart cities of the future and their ever-changing developments.
Premio Makes Smart City Applications Possible
Premio offers a series of customizable industrial computers capable of executing edge computing functions while withstanding extreme temperatures and high shock durability, making them smart-city application ready. Capable of large-scale applications, Premio's fanless RCO-1000-EHL Series and RCO-6000-CML are just a few examples of how we can rise to your automation demands.
Premio's Rugged Edge Computer for Smart Cities
The RCO-6000-CML Series is C&T’s AI Edge Inference Computer with 10th Gen Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon® W Processors. The RCO-6000-CML delivers high customizability with EdgeBOOST I/O connections, high-performance graphics, a wide temperature range, and shock durability.
RCO-6000-CML AI Edge Inference Computer
- 10th Gen Intel® Core™ & Intel® Xeon® W processors with W480E chipset
- Access to Error Correction Code (ECC) Memory
- Modular EDGEBoost Nodes for inference and machine learning workloads
- Plug and Play Dual-SIM 5G & 4G/LTE cellular network module
- Workload consolidation at the edge with versatile I/O
- Ruggedized and Tested for rugged edge computing
Find out more about the RCO-6000-CML Series.