In last week’s post, Smart City Technologies: Part One, we looked at what exactly constitutes a smart city and some of the smart city solutions you can expect to see, including solutions for traffic, energy and waste management. Today, in Smart City Technologies: Part Two, we will present some more amazing advances you will find in smart cities.
Smart self-driving vehicles
In our previous post, we mentioned how smart traffic lights, surveillance cameras and sensors can help with traffic and parking management. Smart self-driving vehicles will also help people move around more easily and safely. Google, with its self-driving car project named Waymo, and Tesla, with its Autopilot technology, are currently the two main pioneers in the area of smart self-driving vehicles, and as you can see from the video above, the future of driving looks very different from what we experience today.
If there is one thing most people envision when it comes to a smart city, it is the increased integration of robots. Well, this vision is starting to become a reality thanks to smart city technologies. Guardforce Hong Kong’s patrol robot, for instance, will start trials at a school and a science park this year. This security robot patrols on a preset route 24/7 day or night and in any weather conditions, providing remote CCTV surveillance with facial recognition. Its configuration can be altered to suit the needs of the client, for example it may be given the capability to read meters or detect dangerous gas leaks at a factory or plant.
Patrol robots are a prime example of how advances in networks and the IoT are allowing robots to finally make an appearance in our everyday lives. To learn more about the types of robots in use today and their applications, click here.
The quest for ever faster plane travel has been ongoing for quite some time, but perhaps one way to speed up the process may lie not in the planes themselves, but in the way airports operate. Currently, the sad fact is that for many flights the time we spend at the airport is longer than the time we spend in the air – that just doesn’t seem right.
Thankfully, this is another area where smart city technologies can help. Hong Kong’s vision for a Smart Airport aims to streamline the airport process by using facial biometrics technology at check-in counters, boarding pass checkpoints and boarding, and expanding the provision of check-in counters located at off-site locations such as theme parks and hotels. All these measures will reduce the time spent at the airport, thereby decreasing overall travel time.
– Mrs Carrie Lam, Hong Kong Chief Executive, Smart City Blueprint Luncheon Speech, Feb 2018
The prospect of smart cities is certainly an exciting one, but as mentioned by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, in her Smart City Blueprint speech, creating a smart city relies on a combination of investment, infrastructure development (in particular, implementing a widespread 5G network), talent, innovation, big data analytics, and an opening up of the free use of collected data by startups and the public. Let’s hope that all these elements can come together so we can develop smart city technologies and fully realise the smart city dream.