In many ways, the future of smart city technologies is already here, although you may not notice its effects for a while. This futuristic groundwork has been laid and it's now just a matter of adoption and expansion to create an overall more efficient and sustainable landscape for governments, businesses, and consumers.
The concept of the modern smart city is simple, although it will require plenty of investment for stakeholders to enjoy its full benefits. The key for organizations to gain a competitive edge from faster and wider internet connectivity is to learn and prepare for the adoption of emerging technologies designed to improve quality of life.
Smart City Trends to Look For
At the foundation of smart city technologies are smart sensors that deliver big data to central hubs for performance analysis. Manufacturers will particularly benefit from designing more efficient production systems by analyzing big data. Here are major trends to monitor so you can decide when to join this modern digital revolution:
- 5G Proliferation - Top telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T are already starting to roll out 5G technology with faster and more seamless internet. Smart vehicles will play a big role in the development of smart cities, leading to less traffic jams and safer streets.
- Stronger Wi-Fi - Thanks to 5G, download speeds will be three times faster, leading to less latency and internet congestion. It will allow for more gadgets to be connected to the same network without hindering performance.
- Analytics Will Drive Competition - Processing real-time data will be a major force in wider data distribution. The more data collected, the more decision-makers will be able to detect system vulnerabilities and make appropriate changes. Companies that fail to adopt this new technology will be at risk of being overshadowed by competitors that do embrace new smart solutions.
- Machine Learning and AI Will Improve Data Analysis - Investing in analytics is an effective step in preparing for more robust 5G solutions. But to be fully prepared, it's also necessary to invest in machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence to speed up data analysis.
- Blockchain Will Expand in Applications - Until recently, blockchain technology was mainly associated with facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. In the future, blockchain will be used more for other applications, such as security and storage.
- Robotic Process Automation Will Improve Productivity - RPA has been around for a while, but is now growing to help meet the needs of 5G users. Some of the development leaders in this field include UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism.
- Conversational AI Will Become More Practical - Siri is a popular example of conversational AI, which will become more practical to businesses and less of a novelty. Gadgets are increasingly able to understand the human voice and answer questions more directly with in-depth information.
- Connected Vehicles and Autonomous Drones Will Accelerate Development of Smarter Cities - Tesla has been a leader in developing technology for autonomous vehicles. It has inspired other automakers such as Ford, Volvo, and BMW to join in the revolution.
- Emphasis Will Grow for XaaS and UX/CX - Everything-as-a-service is helping create noteworthy improvements in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and transportation.
While each of these technologies seems unique and novel, this is our future, not a series of disconnected trends. As adoption and awareness continue to grow, smart city development and initiatives will gain recognition as the next step in the evolution of city planning and building management. Investors expect to spend up to $158 billion on smart cities by 2022.