Have you ever sat down and imagined the capabilities and limitations of Big Data – a term we give to drawing insights by applying analytics to the ever-growing amounts of digital Information? Sometimes, it seems tempting to think that Big Data can do anything. With big data, you can tell what is likely to happen; you can find unexpected relationships as well as monitor situations as they develop. We are going to look at managing traffic menace using big data, but first, let us briefly look at the term'smart city.' A smart city is an umbrella of terms used to describe the act of designing a city or an urban development that is more agile and sustainable to support life – in areas cutting across roads, traffic control, sewerage systems, security, health and all other aspects of technology.
Idling in rush-hour traffic can be mind-numbing. It also carries other costs. Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity, and produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, Carnegie Mellon University professor of robotics Stephen Smith told the audience at a White House Frontiers Conference last week. In urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic, he added. The big reason is that today's traffic signals are dumb.
The term "smart" is used to indicate the use of technologies such as computer chips and the myriad of applications that run on them. Smart phones and smart watches are literally miniature computers that you wear or carry in a pocket. Smart homes include digital assistants, IoT (Internet of Things) connected appliances, remote operation, and entertainment and comfort controls often activated by voice. But what constitutes a smart city? In Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, more than half of the population is living in cities, and it is expected to reach 60% by 2030.
Smart transportation systems are one of the seven key categories of city infrastructure that can be made intelligent in smart cities. Yet what does it mean for a city to actually deploy an IoT sensor network and smart transportation system, especially for traffic management? And what kind of benefits will cities get if they do make such an IT investment? Internet of Things sensors for traffic management have a large impact on improving traffic flows and reducing congestion and pollution, all of which improve quality of life, resident safety and have the potential to boost economic activity and productivity. Such sensors can also improve pedestrian safety and save lives, as Portland, Ore., and many other cities hope to do.
There are many factors which cause the global population to fluctuate, with the post world-war II baby boom causing the most significant increase. Although population growth comes with many positive factors, such as increased numbers of workers, expansion of tax bases and increased consumer spending at local businesses, it causes huge strain on resources and cities. As the Internet of Things continues to become more embedded in our everyday lives, it can help improve the negative effects of urban migration we face today. Urbanization refers to the natural shift of the population from rural to urban areas, usually a result of job hunting and searching for a better quality of life. The United Nations has predicted that by 2050, about 64% of the developing world and 86% of the developed world will be urbanized.