Smart cities are no longer futuristic communities only experienced on TV and movies – they are a growing reality taking hold in communities of all shapes and sizes, both across the country as well as on a global scale. Defined as an urban area that leverages a diverse range of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to capture big data sets to manage assets, drive conveniences, and optimize efficiencies, recent statistics show that smart cities aren't just here, but they are also growing at a whirlwind pace.
According to a Markets and Markets report, smart cities across the world are expected to continue their meteoric growth, going from $308 billion in 2018 to a $717 billion by 2023, due in part to the rising demand for community safety, ever-expanding urban population, the rampant upswing in government incentives, and our global, collective love for technological advancements. While the U.S. isn't a worldwide smart city leader (yet), the trend for using IoT technology in various capacities to make our lives better, faster, and more comfortable is gaining pace in virtually every region of the country. These innovation-centric communities continue to pop up across the country, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and New York City.
Smart Cities Infrastructure Is Often Built On Existing Utility Assets
The development of U.S. smart cities in well-established, highly populated urban areas means that much of the energy infrastructure found in these districts is built on already existing assets used for conventional generation. This is especially true with the utility lighting poles used in these smart neighborhoods. Often, the companies and developers creating these metropolises take the infrastructure and assets that are already in place, putting on programmable sensors that can be used to create wireless networks throughout the city. When incorporated into an already built system of lighting poles, these added smart devices can perform a wide range of functions, including:
Control Street Lighting
Smart utility poles can have sensors installed that detect the available lighting in the area, controlling street lighting remotely, based on need.
Beyond detecting the total amount of daylight, these revamped utility poles can also track and gauge movement in the vicinity of the asset. During times with little to no activity in the region, the lighting can be set to dim to conserve energy and optimize cost efficiencies.
Pinpoint Quiet Times
Today's smart poles can also aggregate data to determine when are the busiest and quietest times in a specific area, prompting the lights to dim when no one is using them.
Modern technology also allows detection of traffic patterns as well as the presence of rain, smog, and other weather elements that may require lights to be turned up or dimmed for optimized efficiencies. The possibilities with these structures are virtually endless, with wireless networks offering countless data points that cities and municipalities can leverage for heightened efficacies and cost savings.
Partnering with Energy Infrastructure Companies is a Must When Developing Smart City Power Delivery
One of the biggest utility oversights in smart city development is not partnering with an energy infrastructure organization throughout the build. A team of skilled and qualified utility pole contractors will have the insight and expertise needed to oversee all the relevant conversion and development components. Most importantly, your chosen provider will ensure your lighting assets and energy infrastructure are prepared to support smart city needs from efficiency, quality assurance, compliance, and safety standpoints.
Contact Exo's team of energy infrastructure specialists today for more information on asset management for successfully using utility poles for smart applications.
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