The world is facing the prospect of greater urbanisation, which will challenge societal development and urban mobility. Many large cities are feeling the strain on their existing infrastructure exerted by a rapidly growing population. This has driven governments to utilise disruptive digital technologies that can create better smart city solutions. Today’s city leaders are beginning to recognise the potential of technology-dependent infrastructure to boost the efficiency of city operations, connect with citizens and solve other urban difficulties.

One such tech-based development in the smart city revolution is the emerging use of telematics, which covers a variety of telecommunications and vehicular advancements that can help cities improve traffic, keep busy streets cleaner and reduce time spent on public transit lines. Moreover, as telematics continues to influence smart city expansion, it is being used to answer many other challenges that stand in the way of improved urban sustainability. so, how is technology making cities ‘smarter’?

Connecting transport and IoT

Telematics technology is making transport more efficient and relevant with the use of connected sensors, mobile applications and data analytics. It will create an urban environment of superior connectivity, allowing cities to address the various transport complications of the future. Using telematics allows cities to access vast quantities of information that can be used to plan the best possible living solutions for both present and future generations. This ability, combined with the Internet of Things, also enables cities to devise accurate transportation strategies that can have a significant impact on city growth and mobility.

Enhanced route optimisation

Smart cities depend on telematics to resolve traffic congestion in urban regions. This technology allows drivers to pick the most efficient routes depending on current traffic information and road network data. Fleet and dispatch managers also make use of telematics to review the routes for multiple vehicles, prevent overlapping routes and reduce fuel costs. These connected vehicles include communication hardware devices that can allow them to connect with similar M2M devices, applications, networks and different services. Such telematics applications will be used for anything from road safety and remote diagnostics to parking assistance and GPS services.

Analysing fuel use

Measuring fuel use is a meaningful way to how telematics is driving smart cities towards sustainability. By improving fuel efficiency, this technology can not only reduce city expenses but also limit the harmful effects of destructive greenhouse gases on the environment. Telematics works with similar technologies to control vehicle idling time by tracking idle metrics through various reports. This data is then used by city officials to optimise strategies for fuel efficiency, route improvement and resource allocation.

Smart transportation

We have seen how car makers are trying to assemble vehicles that will play a vital role in the development of smarter cities and infrastructures. Take Tesla, for example, Elon Musk, the Founder and Owner, wants to build a network of tunnels under Los Angeles, whereby cars will be automated to get across the city at high speeds at higher safety levels. This is in line with the general car manufacturing trend of making vehicles that can interact with their surrounding environment and be in a position to make decisions.

Unprecedented urban growth

A new framework ‘smart city’ has been set up that will strike a balance between the growing population and increasingly scarce resources, thus solving the needs of people environmentally, socially and economically. The smart city will rely on technology to solve issues we are currently facing as a population by operating as one digital village with a big data-driven ecosystem. So what else do we need to know about smart cities?

Big data

Data is set to become the heartbeat of future cities, having been collected from residents, vehicles, and the remaining infrastructure. The ultimate goal of smart data will be to assess patterns and inefficiencies to raise the living standards of the citizens. Smart cities will provide you with notifications on essential urban knowledge, such as notifying the best time to travel. Much of the information about daily city life will be at the palm of your hand.

Smart energy

The future is a zero-emission city which will be free of all pollutants. The smart city will have clean energy, which will be powering the city efficiently by using less energy due to the constant update on data collection and analysis. There will be smart grids that will be capable of communicating with each other and transferring more power where it is required in case of energy supply difficulties.

With this information and data captured, freely shared, it will be easier to manage complex city systems, ensuring that the growing population of our urban environments is happier, cleaner and more efficient generally.

Smart cities are no longer things of the future; In 2017, the World Bank reported that 54% of the total global population resides in a city. More intriguing still is the report by the United Nations, which predicted that the global urban population would grow to 68% by the year 2050.

Photo: My City 2 by Ömer Ünlü licensed under Creative Commons 4.0