Your City is Talking. Are You Listening?
What comes to your mind when you think of the word “Message”? Person sending information to another person or a group of people through internet or any other platform, but in today’s scenario, messaging is not restricted to human beings, even devices are talking to each other. The internet of things is an idea that billions of devices will be connected to the internet in parallel to the billions of people who have access to the internet. Today, there are literally billions of smart devices - - sensors, cameras, cars, mobile phones, appliances etc., all becoming interconnected and intelligent. Cars can talk to a mechanic to signal it needs a repair; Store shelves can talk to the supply chain when they are running low on inventory. Even your house can be on Twitter!
The internet of things gives rise to a tremendous opportunity. With 3.3 billion people living in cities today, a vast amount of information is generated through a complex network of sensors, cameras, mobile phones etc. Cities can harness this continuous stream of information to manage municipal systems and transform city living for the better.
Here are a few examples of how cities around the world, are using data generated from a network of connected devices to optimize city operations:
The Irish city of Dublin is using real-time data from road and transportation systems to improve its public transportation network and reduce congestion. The information from a variety of sources, road sensors, video cameras and GPS updates from city’s buses are used to build a digital map of the city overlaid with real-time positions of the buses. By collecting and merging information from various sources, City’s traffic controllers are able to solve congestion and other traffic related problems swiftly.
Istanbul is using technology to address the massive increase in demand for public transportation. The privacy protected data collected from mobile phones reveals how people move through the city and is used to determine where public transportation is required. The insights from anonymous cell phone data enable City officials to improve city infrastructure and transit systems.
The City of Lyon, France is using data from sensors and devices to make real-time decisions on managing traffic incidents and road congestion. Using historical and real-time data, the operators will be able to make more informed decisions. Over time, the system will help the city predict the flow of traffic up to one hour in advance.
If you look at the city you live in, it is a complex network of system of systems comprising of buildings, transportation network, power grids and other utilities. Using the Internet of Things, sensors placed across a wide array of systems (Traffic signals, buses, trains, parking spaces, and power grids etc.), cities collect critical data. This integrated data is then used to build critical models and improve predictive capabilities, ultimately leading to a better quality of life for citizens.