Smart cities refer to an urban framework that uses technologies to develop, deploy and promote sustainable growth. It relies on a network of connected devices that transmit data to centralized locations to assist in better decisions to improve the quality of life for those living and working within the city’s boundaries. Whether it’s controlling lights or trash, IoT technologies are helping cities become more sustainable.
The BURBA project created an automatic system for intelligent waste management. The system consists of smart waste containers with RFID capabilities that can be used to identify individual trash receptacles.
The system includes electronics for data transmission so a management tool can receive the data and make decisions regarding the time of collection.
Adjusting refuse pickup to minimize wait times optimizes truck operations. There’s no need to wait in line at disposal plants or recycling facilities. Through metric analysis, the system can improve transportation efficiencies, diminish fuel costs and avoid overfull containers.
System advances support rapid deployment on containers and vehicle tracking. It can also redirect and reschedule waste collection, making real-time adjustments possible.
Cisco partnered with ASFiNAG, a state-owned Austrian company, to devise a system for better monitoring of 2,200 kilometers of highway and 400 kilometers of tunnels. Using a fiber-optic network, the company connected more than 70,000 sensors and 6,500 traffic cameras to monitor the traffic on the roads.
The project used ruggedized switches and routers to communicate information using different radio standards in conjunction with Cisco’s communication system. The system provided feedback on road and traffic conditions to help route emergency vehicles and provide drivers with up-to-date information.
The Cisco solution uses a network of IoT devices to create a network infrastructure to connect various intelligent transportation systems to improve driving conditions on Austrian highways. The system reduces roadside incidents, improves traffic flow, and provides a centralized view of the road system in real-time.
Thousands of IoT devices collect information that can be used to eliminate congestion and reduce emissions. They can also report on road conditions so timely repairs can be made, minimizing operational costs.
HP Instant Ink
HP’s Instant Ink is a subscription service for individuals and small businesses. An HP printer is connected to an HP site that tracks the print cartridge levels to determine when a replacement is needed. When a cartridge runs out of ink, the printer notifies HP, and a new cartridge is sent without the end-user having to do anything. Along with the replacement, HP sends pre-paid envelopes for returning used cartridges, making its recovery and recycling program far more successful.
HP’s program demonstrates how recycling is possible within the consumer electronics sector. It allows HP to reuse their ink cartridges multiple times without placing a significant burden on the end-user. For a monthly fee, anyone can have replacements sent to them before they run out of ink. The closed-loop recycling program provides a service to the consumer while contributing to a circular economy.
Jakarta needed a better way to manage its street lighting. So, with the help of Philips CityTouch, IoT devices called connector nodes were attached to street lights. Before the project, the city relied on conventional lighting without remote monitoring capabilities. With CityTouch, each light is connected so performance data can be collected. That information enables the city to monitor its infrastructure and adjust illumination levels to meet a district’s needs.
Over 400 street lights are connected, giving operators a comprehensive view of their city’s illumination. Using the data submitted in real-time, the city adjusts the illumination on a district-by-district basis. Now, Jakarta can lower illumination to conserve energy without impacting the individuals living in the area.