Can IoT really make cities smart?

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85By Kevin Shaker, analystsmartcities_011217

A little over a year ago, the Department of Transportation launched its Smart City Challenge, which pulled together federal grant money and private funds to restructure and optimize city transportation infrastructures across the country. Now that the winning cities have been announced, companies with Internet of Things solutions may want to start conversations about what they can offer.

Denver, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Portland have been awarded grants to implement their IoT plans for establishing the cities of tomorrow. In October 2016, DOT identified these finalist cities, along with non-profit grants totaling $500 million for revamped frameworks. DOT has also committed $100 million for research, development and implementation of automated technologies.

Essentially this means IoT is no longer a far off dream but a reality as the technology takes the U.S. transportation infrastructure by storm. And there’s no question that President-elect Donald Trump has talked about investing in a new transportation infrastructure that will rely heavily on the private sector.

Before I get into the specific types of solutions the winning cities will be looking for, it’s helpful to understand the details of the challenge and the hurdles each city discovered along the way.

The goal was to encourage cities to compete in creating blueprints for smart city infrastructures and serve as the basis for next-generation transportation across America. The challenge encouraged cities across the country to work with DOT to establish blueprints designed to route various types of commercial logistics and automate new forms of city transportation options, while also achieving other enhanced next generation transportation capabilities. The challenge included cities from more than 30 states ranging from Anchorage, AK to Miami.

Participating cities ran into many of the same transportation challenges, including lowering fuel costs, distributing data and analytics from highways and streets to public transportation systems, accounting for climate variables that could interrupt traffic flow and making parking systems and payments easier for commuters and parking enforcement.

There’s a long road ahead in designing the ideal smart city and it’s the perfect time to get your solution at the forefront of the smart city evolution. Here’s what the cities will be looking for:

  • Big data solutions that can help collect and disseminate information
  • Mobility solutions that enable proper communication from node-to-system and system-to-system
  • Cybersecurity solutions that protect IoT networks

Now is a great time to start discussions as DOT continues to move along the need for IoT. Tap into city IT groups now to see how you can get your products baked in early on in the game.

Listen to the Uniting Cybersecurity, Mobility and Internet of Things session from immixGroup’s Government IT Sales Summit for insight into IoT in the federal space.

To find out more about IoT opportunities at DOT or on the state and local government level, reach out to the immixGroup Market Intelligence team.


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