In popular culture, smart cities are often perceived as unrecognizable cities with sky touching buildings and air cars navigating on virtual roads. In reality, a smart city is one that uses technology to improve and transform the lives of its citizens, while minimizing the digital divide and encouraging businesses to innovate.
These cities put their citizens – the ultimate customers of city services – first and find ways for successful collaboration between citizens and the public and private sector. Let’s take a look at the three Es of digital infrastructure for smart cities.
Imagine a world where one leaves for work and the car automatically directs itself to one’s destination based on the phone calendar. On top of that, the car reroutes to a shorter route considering the traffic and even drops a message to the office, in case one runs late. This is the hyper-connected world of smart infrastructure where machines talk to machines.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is where machines can learn about an individual’s preferences through AI and machine learning and communicate the same to other machines in different places. Seamless connectivity across smart spaces and devices will lead to the optimization of resources and transcendent experience for the citizens in every smart city ultimately.
A positive quality of life entails the improvement of every aspect of a citizen’s daily life. From smart kiosks to smart cars, from smart bus bays to street vendor standardized infrastructure, a smart city pertains to an environment that promotes the best of urban living and minimizes the hassles of urban life. Consider a city where one has access to a one-stop smart spot for all e-governance activities including uncomplicated exchange of information, transactions and service requests.
Smart towers will also help in driving technology through a multifaceted approach wherein, they can function as an EV and a drone charging port, cater to digital hoardings and smart kiosks, and house surveillance cameras. Additionally, one can download their AADHAR cards and educational certificates, and access their bank statements through the same spot.
This real-time and on-demand delivery of information and services will enable citizens to make use of public sector services easily.
Digital infrastructure will enable an array of other innovations in the smart city space. Today, there is a lot of buzz around the concept of electric vehicles and the feasibility of it. Electric charge is the fuel for these vehicles. A smart city would require the petrol pump equivalents to regularly charge the vehicles and digital infrastructure will help create that reality. Through easily accessible EV charging ports, smart cities will ultimately help in the push towards an electric mobility future.
A future with streamlined waste management driven by digital infrastructure will also exist, wherein machines will be able to detect when the waste must be picked up from a certain area and inform the concerned parties to collect the same. Through these initiatives, digital infrastructure will empower society to function in a more systematic manner.
Digital infrastructure is a critical aspect of smart cities and their ability to function in an efficient, sustainable manner. Today, various companies are encouraging the development of smart cities by focusing on creating advanced solutions, which address the above-mentioned priorities. Through M2M and AI technology, along with other emerging technologies, cities will now be more streamlined and better constructed, creating a better standard of living. Products such as smart towers, digital kiosks, smart villages, smart bus bays and related infrastructure support make use of today’s latest emerging technologies and is helping us leapfrog into a more evolved and better future.
By Gururaj Nayak, Co-Founder and CEO, Qogno