Smart city innovations relating to traffic and road improvements are projected to make a massive impact on the lives of urban dwellers in the coming five years.
A study by Juniper Research found that smart parking and smart traffic management projects will save 4.2 billion man-hours each year by 2021, according to an article by Enterprise Innovation. This works out to each city’s annually saving an entire working day that would have been otherwise spent on driving.
Juniper’s report, “Worldwide Smart Cities: Energy, Transport & Lighting 2016-2021″found that these efficiencies will be driven by rising city populations that are putting pressure on municipal resources. This comes as governments are investing ever-increasing amounts of their budgets on connected devices and smart technology.
“Facilitating the movement of citizens within urban agglomerations via transport networks is fundamental to a city’s economic growth,” said Steffen Sorrell, author of the study. “Congestion reduces businesses’ competitiveness, and contributes to so-called brain-drain.”
As well, traffic congestion is one of the challenges that smart cities must solve in order to boost quality of life for its citizens and increase competitiveness of the urban area.
In light of this, traffic easing plans are at the vanguard of many smart city strategies, which Juniper expects to result in 2 million smart parking spaces installed worldwide by the year 2021.
…And more lighting to stay out later with your saved hours
Another road-related development Juniper predicts is a surge in installations of smart street lighting over the next five years. The lighting systems are comprised of micro-controlled sensors and LED units and Juniper anticipates more than half of installed LED road lighting systems to be networked worldwide by 2021.
While the obvious benefit of smart street lighting is the reduction of city energy bills, there are other possible benefits as well. New services that generate revenue could stem from additional sensors installed on the LED light fixtures, including potential retail marketing opportunities and municipal Wi-Fi capacity.
Juniper’s study said the proliferation of LED lighting in cities is expected to continue growing rapidly due to plummeting costs for LED technology and the adoption of hardware standards for the light fixtures.