It’s generally believed that over half of the world’s population lives in cities today. This population is projected to soar higher by the middle of the twenty-first century. As a result, municipalities are planning to cater to the anticipated population explosion. Smart city technology is believed to be the game-changer of service delivery. Smart cities of future technology may address a variety of aspects in city living, including electricity distribution, garbage collection, transportation, traffic, and street lights.
A decade ago, smart city development seemed a dream to be realized. It could only happen in sci-fi movies. However, what once appeared only imaginable possible in a movie is now a reality. If you’re a city leader, you need to join other city leaders and be ready to deploy smart city technology that’ll be the lifeline in the future. With that said, this technology is believed to completely change the nature of life. To bring you up to speed, here are some of the technologies that are to drive smart cities in the future:
- Digital Twin Technology
The digital twin is a technology that duplicates physical objects, services, or processes. It can be a digital copy of a tangible object such as a wind farm, skyscraper, train, or plane. In addition, it can be a whole city. On top of that, digital twin technology is used to duplicate processes and collect data that predict how they’ll behave.
The digital twin can be integrated with the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and software analytics for greater effectiveness. In addition, engineers integrate machine learning and big data with the digital twin in today’s engineering to drive innovation and boost performance. Deploying twin technology helps improve strategic technology trends and avert fatal failures in physical objects. Finally, you can leverage digital twin technology with monitoring and predictive capabilities, advanced analytics, and test processes and services.
Some of the wide applications of 2D and 3D digital technology are creating smart city digital twin maps, roads and highways, urban planning, and predictive maintenance.
2. 5G Technologies
Internet connectivity is the lifeline to power all the processes in developing a smart city. However, you don’t just need mere connectivity, but speed and bandwidth are of the essence. Prior, the world relied on Edge, 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies. But now, all is set for the future since 5G is already here. It’ll be used to power incredible internet speed connections for industries and entire city communities. With that said, internet service providers are transiting to 5G technologies. The investment in this new technology is massive and is sweeping the internet world by storm.
It’s expected that smart cities will depend highly on self-driving cars and take advantage of mass transit systems. In addition, customers can visit museums and other places using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), all possible through 5G.
In some of the world’s most advanced cities like Dubai, Singapore, and Tokyo, robots co-live with people. Robot-human collaboration can augment work, city, health, and social life in the anticipated smart cities. Robots are expected to rise in future smart cities due to the benefits robots bring to society. According to the planners of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, athletes were transported by robot taxis, and smart chairs were ready for use by Paralympians. Moreover, social robots would interact with athletes in more than 20 languages.
In Dubai, robots are used in surveillance and the transportation system. In addition, Dubai has a flying taxi, and plans are in the pipeline to develop a humanoid police officer.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
Life has never been better than this, with everything accessible from smartphones. You can have everything connected to your mobile device. As a result, IoT will keep everything connected in the city. With IoT, you can interconnect smart devices, smart agriculture, wearables, smart public mobility, smart home appliances, smart buildings, medical devices, smart entertainment, and others.
From this understanding, every aspect of a smart city should be connected to facilitate single-unit communication. As a result, IoT will provide seamless communication, a solution to many problems and situations.
5. Geospatial Technology
The planning and building of smart cities will require high accuracy level and detailed analysis of data. It’s believed that this will be possible through the combination of Geospatial and Geolocation technologies. Probably, this technology will be groundbreaking. The reason is that it has to provide the needed framework and location for collecting and analyzing data. The data is then transformed into a state that supports software-based solutions for smart city infrastructure.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Because smart cities will be highly data-driven, and there will be a large data production, it would be impossible to make sense of it unless artificial intelligence is used to process the data. AI effectively processes and analyzes data produced through machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction in the environment of smart cities.
In addition, many of the applications used in smart cities deploy AI technology. For instance, boosting traffic, smart parking management, and integrating independent ride applications. On top of that, AI facilitates accurate monitoring of how a city works. Other services that use AI in smart cities are power grid management, planning public transport, postal services, drone delivery, and healthcare facilities management.
7. Blockchain Technology
Even though this is a new concept with wide application in the digital economy, future smart cities are expected to make massive use of the technology. Blockchain can easily improve security and service transparency. For instance, you can use blockchain technology in smart contracts. The data written using blockchain technology can’t be changed, which improves trust and transparency of transactions. As a result, no third party is needed to mediate a contract.
In addition, you’ll be able to use blockchain billing and transaction processing, and smart grid energy sharing.
Coupled with the IoT, sensors can be fitted in physical devices. For instance, sensors can be fitted on smartwatches to count your daily steps, connected cars, and traffic lights. Sensors are used to collect data and send it to the cloud for storage.
With some world cities already adopting smart city technologies, the reality of realizing smart cities is nearer than it was a decade ago. As a result, all governments and city leaders ought to make adjustments and start gearing up for the technology. With the increase in urban population, deploying smart city technologies might not be an option soon. Thus, this article explores the technologies setting the ground ready for smart cities.