Much like smart homes, smart cities aim to connect and protect while creating a more efficient living space. While smart homes and connected devices are slowly gaining in popularity, smart cities are working on becoming the next big trend.
To aid in a speedier adoption, a Smart City Forum has been created, which consists of CIOs and leaders from cities around the world. The forum allows cities to utilize top academic research with applied studies of various Internet of Things projects and smart technology.
Atlanta is among the cities involved in the Smart City Forum, and they are currently engaged in a pilot project. This project includes efforts to improve public safety, transportation, and water monitoring.
For public safety, plans for installation of smart security cameras are in place. However, this type of public surveillance can cause some uneasiness among residents. Aware of the concerns, officials plan on working with privacy experts and keeping things transparent when it comes to the technology and devices they employ. If residents oppose any plans, officials are dedicated to working with them to create a solution.
Aside from this, they are also aiming to improve transportation and water sensors. Traffic light synchronization is one of the ways they plan on improving traffic conditions. 300 miles of fiber optic cable will be laid to create a city-owned network, which will likely support the advanced traffic control system along with video surveillance and other smart city data. The excess capacity will end up being leased to raise money. Free Wi-Fi will also be available, however, the size of the Wi-Fi mesh network has yet to be determined.
Other plans include implementing license plate capture cameras, smart LED lighting atop smart poles, water meter sensors, and even smart city trash cans.
As expected, there will be lots of data that needs to be evaluated, and Atlanta will take care of that with the help of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. They will run the big data analytics and report back on their findings so that the city can understand what they need to do to improve.
These pilot projects and the Smart City Forum will hopefully give other cities insight to what works and what doesn’t, as well as the size of the budget necessary to employ these technologies and systems. What are your thoughts on smart cities? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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