According to the data published by the UN, the world population will reach up to a limit of 9.7 billion by the end of 2050. It is deduced that almost 70% of that population will be an urban population with many cities accommodating over 10m inhabitants. As the number grows, we'll have to encounter challenges regarding making a provision for resources and energy to all of the inhabitants and at the same time, avoiding environment deterioration. Another critical challenge is administration and management to prevent sanitation issues, mitigate traffic congestion, thwart crime, etc. But many of these problems can be tamed by the use of AI-enabled IoT.
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.
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.
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 cities and smarter projects have been among the most actively discussed realizations made possible by IoT, data, connectivity and by leveraging a mix of varied technologies. The interest in smart cities continues to grow, driven by a range of socioeconomic and technological developments across the globe. A smart city responds to the challenges of our time and quality of life. It also ensures that the city meets the needs of future generations -- In terms of economic, social and environmental issues. In short, it is a good place to live with the best possible quality of life and most efficient use of resources.