How does AI and IoT aid in building a smart city?
Artificial Intelligence combined with IoT has the potential to address key challenges posed by an excessive urban population which includes traffic management, healthcare, energy crises, and many other issues. It can improve the lives of the citizens and businesses that inhabit a smart city.
What makes Smart Cities Smart?
Before diving into the implantation part, let’s explore some of the components of smart cities. A smart city has lots of use cases for AI-powered IoT-enabled technology, from maintaining a healthier environment to enhancing public transport and safety.
Smart Traffic Management
AI and IoT can implement smart traffic solutions to ensure that inhabitants of a smart city get from one point to another in the city as safely and efficiently as possible. Los Angeles is one of the most congested cities in the world to adopt smart traffic solution to control the flow of traffic. It has installed road-surface sensors and closed-circuit television cameras that send real-time updates about the traffic flow to a central traffic management system. The data feed from cameras is analyzed and notifies the users regarding the congestion and traffic signal malfunctions.
Finding a parking slot especially during holiday time is a real struggle. With road surface sensors embedded in the ground on parking spots, smart parking solutions can determine whether the parking spots are free or occupied and create a real-time parking map. This will also reduce the time drivers had to wait to find an empty space which would also help reducing congestion and pollution
Smart Waste Management
Waste collection and its proper management and disposal is an essential city service. This increase in the urban population necessitates the adoption of smart methods for waste management. Adopting AI for smart recycling and waste management can provide a sustainable waste management system. One such example could be of Barcelona’s waste management system which has sensors and devices fitted on waste bins that send notifications to the authorities to dispatch the waste collection trucks as soon as they are about to be filled. They also maintain separate bins for paper, plastic, glass, and waste food items in every locality.
Since crime is omnipresent, smart cities also require smart policing where law enforcement agencies employ evidence-based data-driven strategies that are effective, efficient, and economical. In Singapore, where this has already been initiated, a network of cameras and sensors have been installed in almost every corner which helps to identify people who are smoking in prohibited zones or are loitering from a high-rise housing. The cameras enable the authorities to monitor crowd density, cleanliness of public areas and also track the exact movement of all registered vehicles.
Street lights are necessary, but they consume a lot of energy, which can be reduced with the use of smart lighting. Besides this, the lamp posts can also be fitted with additional sensors, or serve as WI-Fi network hotspots. The lamps can also adjust the brightness based on the presence of pedestrians, cyclists or cars. It employs a real-time mesh network to trigger neighbouring lights and creates a safe circle of light around a human occupant.
The main motive of smart cities is to make a comfortable and convenient life for its inhabitants. Therefore, smart city infrastructure is not complete without smart governance. Smart governance implies the use of ICT intelligently in order to improve decision making through better collaboration among different stakeholders, including government and citizens. Smart governance would be able to use data, evidence, and other resources to improve decision making and compliance towards the needs of the citizens.
Smart city includes a set of smart services. These smart services could include Smart utility, Smart healthcare, Smart infrastructure, Smart transportation, Smart logistics, Smart parking, Smart street lighting control and so on
In order to provide these smart services, the data has to be collected on real time basis about relevant things. Thousands and millions of sensors could be used to collect the data on real time basis. These sensors are deployed, a communication network is deployed for these sensors to communicate with the back end control infrastructures etc. This is where Internet of Things comes into picture
Now, not only the data collection and reporting is important. It is also important to make the decision based on this real time data. Clubbing and combining this data with other devices data that is being collected, finding out if there is any sort of pattern being formed with these data, feeding this data into the models created from the past data. And then making quick, intelligent decisions . And this is where AI comes into picture