As more everyday objects are made with network connectivity capabilities, (also referred to as, “The Internet of Things”) the possibilities of staying connected are reaching places they never were before. Out of these technological frontiers, perhaps the most exciting is the public sector and the development of Smart Cities.
As smart city technology continues to advance, what will it mean for transportation? Here, we’ll explain what exactly a smart city is and how they will benefit infrastructure and citizens. We will also discuss how Windshieldink and license plate messaging fits into future smart city development.
How Does a Smart City Work?
Though we’re a long ways off from the floating cities seen in sci-fi movies, you can still expect a lot of conveniences and connectivity from smart cities. With the use of sensors, internet connectivity, and data management, smart cities will be able to provide valuable information on safety, energy, waste, water, and transportation.
The trick to an effective and cohesive smart city is connecting all the different aspects that make up a city. Some of the main components that make up a city, include:
- Smart Energy
- Smart Transportation
- Smart Data
- Smart Infrastructure
- Smart Devices
Here’s an example from AT&T in Dade County.
Benefits of a Smart City
Ultimately, the purpose of a smart city is to enhance the quality of life for residents by making urban environments safer, more eco-friendly, and convenient. An example of convenient smart-city technology already in use is public transit tracking that shows the rider the distance and arrival time of their train or bus. Being able to purchase and use digital public transportation tickets is another example.
Imagine being able to have your internet history or phone data synced to your vehicle, and receive real-time updates or warnings on changing water and quality, traffic, and more. With smart technology, as soon as you purchase tickets to an event, GPS directions to the event location could be automatically synced to your vehicle.
Additional applications that use sensor technology are continuously being developed. As more cities get on board, we could see energy being saved by only lighting streets when a car approaches, or save on water used in public irrigation and monitored plant watering systems, which has already been implemented in some cities. The goal would be to bring this convenience and energy efficiency into all urban areas.
What Does Smart City Mean for Transportation?
With the development of smart cars and driverless cars, transportation is already one of the fastest growing components of smart cities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already proposed a new rule which will require automakers to equip all vehicles to include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. This technology will allow cars to communicate with each other, and alert drivers of traffic and potential dangers ahead of time.
Some of the other benefits for transportation would be routeing of emergency vehicles is improved via GPS, traffic light controls, and using smart traffic management to help motorists find the fastest routes to take. These changes help reduce the carbon footprint, while also making life a heck of alot easier for citizens.
How does Windshieldink Fit in with Smart Cities?
With Windshieldink’s license plate messaging platform, we’ve already provided a way to connect everyone who shares the road. Our goal is for the app to play a role in smart city development, by allowing city officials to contact vehicle owners. Already, cities are coming out with ways of sending messages to the public to warn about street maintenance or weather warnings, but the full potential has yet to be tapped into.
The ability of license plate recognition systems to contact vehicle owners could be implemented in a myriad of ways; if you’re driving the wrong way down a one-way street, or if you have driven onto a toll road system are examples of when the city sensors may want to contact you.
While Windshieldink has kicked off as a user-to-user community platform, its functionality will be expanded to enable smart cities to take advantage of our communication platform. If you want to be a part of a connected city and help make your roads safer, sign up today and become part of the future!