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smart cities (12)

Gold Level Contributor


Global spending on smart city initiatives is expected to reach $327 billion by 2025, driven by strong growth in projects related to intelligent transportation, data-driven public safety, as well as platform-related and digital twin use cases.

The promise of operational transformation is exciting. If cities architect this correctly, they will be able to harvest unique operational insights from the myriad internet of things (IoT) devices generating massive amounts of data per second. Armed with real-time data analysis, managers can rapidly respond to events requiring immediate investigation, such as a sudden flood or a major traffic accident.

This is great, but let's not celebrate prematurely. Despite the hoopla, smart cities are failing to accomplish most of what's being promised. Not that the idea is flawed — software technology just isn't up to the task.

If cities hope to integrate real-time data sources and devices – such as AI-enabled IP and thermal cameras, IoT sensors, real-time location data or edge sensors – and build applications that will be able to monitor assets, events, people and environments, they need to be both event-driven and distributed. They must be collaborative and scalable. You can't take shortcuts.

Too often, however, we see unwieldy Rube Goldberg-like contraptions built with antiquated tools that are destined to fail. In fairness, it's exceptionally hard to write software that connects everything, not to mention the myriad challenges getting applications to work together in a reliable, scalable manner. But there's no getting around the following:

  • Reliability: A smart city isn't going to be very smart if buggy applications require frequent downtime to install updates and to fix problems. Software needs to be connected 24 x 7 and everything needs to operate at full capacity, no matter what.
  • Response time: Most deployments don’t feature the real-time response and situational awareness that are critical components of any smart city infrastructure.
  • Security: This will continue to be an issue as long as smart cities use applications which rely on databases that routinely capture everything.

Navigating past the shoals

Privacy advocates have already raised qualms about the security of personal information in the era of IoT. Given the massive amount of data ricocheting around a smart city network, they justifiably worry about potential worst-case scenarios.

Clearly, if all this data is going to get captured and stored for processing and analysis, that's going to invite the attention of cyber criminals and others bent on mischief. But modern, event-driven applications don’t require the use of databases. They distribute compute resources and other services out to the edge to guarantee maximum performance, and they filter out huge volumes of extraneous data in order to focus on data related to critical events. When an event is detected, all the required processing and system actions are executed at the edge, immediately.

Two big pluses here: response time is shorter and no personally identifiable information is stored in a database. After a situation has been resolved, the data can be deleted from all of the edge devices.

What's more, most incidents won't require divulging the identity of the individuals involved. Even if the system spots somebody being attacked, you don't have to identify either the attacker or the person being attacked. The system simply identifies the fact that somebody is being attacked and the system then alerts the police in real time.

Originally written by
Marty Sprinzen, CEO and co-founder of Vantiq | November 11, 2020
for Smart Cities Dive


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Gold Level Contributor

The pandemic is accelerating smart city tech

Retrieved from PXHere

It's incredibly difficult to look for a silver lining in the midst of a pandemic when all you can see is the carnage it's caused in its wake. Millions of people have lost their lives. Millions have lost their jobs. We've all lost any semblance of normalcy, and it looks like this will be our reality for the foreseeable future.

But believe it or not, there is a silver lining in all of this.

Disease outbreaks are a grim reminder of how one incident can snowball into a global nightmare, but they also have a long history of changing things for the better. London got its Victorian sewer system after the cholera epidemic claimed the lives of 30,000 people. The Spanish flu, one of the worst pandemics in history, brought about better ventilation standards for buildings.

COVID-19 is poised to bring about the same widespread change as other pandemics have by accelerating the adoption of smart city technology across the world. Klaus R. Kunzmann, the former head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Germany, describes the coronavirus outbreak as being "a lubricant for the smart city."

Let's unpack this.

Familiarity incites higher levels of trust

Technology is so enmeshed in our world that it's hard to imagine life without it. Yet, many people are only comfortable with technology as far as smartphones and computers go; anything else feels too dystopian or invasive. 

Smart cities have been around since the 1990s and gained traction following the financial collapse of 2008, but their adoption has been slow-going since then. Consolidating smart technology into a city's existing infrastructure comes with a hefty price tag, but it's also met with skepticism and unease by many people across the world. 

The pandemic has now exposed people to conditions that make smart city tech easier to swallow. Its impact on the economy, the community and the healthcare sector have local governments and citizens clamoring for change. Citizens are now more open to smart city solutions than ever before, which has opened the door to rapid expansion. 

While modern technology will eventually influence everything about a city's infrastructure, there are a few areas where digital transformation has become the most urgent.

Intelligent traffic management

Smart traffic management systems are replacing the outdated, manual processes that cities have used for so long. For the first time, technology allows cities to respond to changing environments in real-time.

Even a simple shift to smart traffic lights could reduce street congestion by upwards of 25%. Waiting for a red light to change if there's no traffic coming from the other direction will eventually become a thing of the past. Instead of following a predetermined time setting, smart traffic lights will respond to what's happening in the moment. 

Digital grids not only make it possible for traffic lights to communicate with one another to enhance traffic flow and decrease congestion, but they also give city managers the ability to implement better traffic policies, like prioritizing pedestrians in school zones during the most active times of the day. 

Originally written by
Ronald Chagoury Jr., Vice Chairman Eko Atlantic | October 21, 2020
for Smart Cities Dive

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Gold Level Contributor

Smart city market set to grow by $2118bn by 2024

A report from Technavio said the decreasing price of connected devices is expected to fuel the market and highlights the smart governance and education segments as key areas for growth. The decline in hardware and installation costs is also helping to fuel smart city growth

The smart city market size is poised to grow by more than $2118bn during 2020-2024 with the decreasing price of connected devices expected to fuel market growth, a new study finds.

The report from global technology research and advisory company Technavio forecasts growth to progress at a compound annual growth rate of 23 per cent throughout the period. It highlights the smart governance and education segment as key areas of growth.

Connected network ecosystem

IoT systems have revolutionised the connected network ecosystem over the last few years. Smart city infrastructure is based on an efficient and connected network system and the reduction in costs of IoT sensors and associated systems, and in the cost of broadband services, has led to the implementation of smart cities across the world.

Furthermore, Technavio states the decline in hardware costs, installation costs, and tariff rates of network operators have triggered a surge in M2M security systems adoption in applications such as smart homes, connected cars, connected health, and precision agriculture.

As the price for connected devices continue to decrease in the coming years, the smart city market will witness significant growth, notes Technavio.

The proliferation of smart city projects in emerging economies, one of the key smart cities market trends, will also influence market growth, the report finds. While developed economies have been working on creating smart cities for a decade, emerging economies are still in the planning phase and are launching several pilot projects.

For instance, the government of India has initiated smart city projects for 100 cities. The installation of smart devices for these upcoming smart cities in emerging economies is expected to generate huge amounts of data. The analysis of this data would be required to improve business quality and innovate for a better future with faster connectivity by facilitating prompt suggestion-based services. As a result of these factors, the market will grow during the forecast period.

Other report highlights include:

  • The major smart city market growth came from the smart governance and education segment. These technologies are used extensively in e-governance, homeland security, fire and emergency, and traffic management applications. It helps to analyse the risks and plan and implement preventive measures
  • Europe had the largest smart cities market share in 2019, and the region will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. The availability of high-speed wireless networks and increased connected devices such as smartphones and IoT penetration will significantly influence smart city market growth in this region.

The report sets out to offer up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends, and drivers, as well as the overall market environment. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | October 14, 2020

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Gold Level Contributor

Anaheim is one of the Orange County cities to benefit from the system

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has awarded Iteris a $4.7m contract for a regional traffic signal synchronisation project spanning eight cities including Anaheim, Stanton and County of Orange.

The three-year project with the smart mobility infrastructure management firm includes signal coordination and timing improvements, with the aim of improving traffic flow, enhancing public safety and decreasing stops.

East-west corridor

Under the project agreement, Iteris will provide services that will upgrade traffic signal electronics and communications equipment, and optimise signal timing along Katella Avenue, a major east-west corridor that comprises key signalised intersections spanning the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Orange, Garden Grove, Villa Park, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Stanton and County of Orange.

In January, Iteris announced that it had been awarded a $3.6m contract to perform the same services across Orange County’s Main Street corridor.

Iteris’ Intersection-as-a-Service end-to-end solution, which is a component of the ClearMobility platform, will deliver proactive monitoring of traffic signal operations at all project intersections.

The primary goal of this project is to deploy new intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment and communication infrastructure to support the management of the cities’ transportation network, implement optimised coordination timing plans to achieve optimal traffic flow, and improve safety for all road users, including vehicles, buses, bicycles and pedestrians.

“We are proud to support OCTA’s goal of improving the safety and mobility of road users by embarking on this traffic signal synchronisation project,” said Scott Carlson, vice president and assistant general manager, transportation systems at Iteris.

“This initiative represents the continued expansion of Iteris’ traffic signal coordination services, as well as our Intersection-as-a-Service offering, across the west coast and will ultimately help to increase the value and effectiveness of the region’s existing transportation infrastructure, while also improving air quality and reducing fuel consumption.”

Iteris expects to commence the traffic signal coordination and ITS design project immediately.

The ClearMobility continuously monitors, visualises and optimises mobility infrastructure. It applies cloud computing, artificial intelligence, advanced sensors, advisory services and managed services to increase safety and efficiency.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld News Team
SmartCitiesWorld | September 30, 2020


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Gold Level Contributor

Without robust cybersecurity systems, smart cities are flawed, writes Haider Pasha, chief security officer for the Middle East and Africa at Palo Alto

As we work our way through what living with COVID-19 means for our societies, there’s a growing body of opinion that smart city technologies could be helpful to how governments and business leaders respond in the future. For example, Professor Jason Coburn, who studies urban health at the University of California, Berkeley has written about how smart city planning could slow future epidemics, using technology to prevent diseases from spreading while helping to ensure the availability and safety of critical resources, including water, transportation and healthcare.

However, the more connected devices there are, and the more data collected there is, the greater the opportunity for cyber-attackers. Smart cities must be secure by design to prevent cybercriminals being able to access sensitive data, disrupt critical IT systems in traffic management, internet access and more.

According to ABI Research, many cities are already seeing the benefits of using smart city technologies in managing the pandemic, including:

  • Remote temperature sensing using artificial intelligence, and autonomous last-mile delivery of critical equipment and supplies
  • Data sharing using smartphone data and crowd sourcing for location tracking visualised via real-time dashboards. This helps to enforce social distance guidelines and monitor the delivery of medical goods
  • Deploying drones with facial recognition technology to track those who are infected with the virus to ensure they don’t break quarantine and risk spreading the virus

Smart cities, built on the concept of digital municipal systems that do everything from controlling traffic grids to ensuring water quality, preceded COVID-19 and have long been popular. Research by IDC conducted pre-pandemic forecast that $189.5 billion (about £144 billion) will be spent worldwide on smart cities initiatives by the year 2023. Furthermore, it indicated that more than half of global spending on smart cities projects is concentrated in three use cases: resilient energy infrastructure, data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation.

There is huge potential still to be tapped for systems that improve how communities work, live and play. San Francisco’s smart power grid and Barcelona’s digitised waste management systems are just two examples of tens of thousands of smart cities initiatives that are improving the lives of residents.

Nevertheless, without cybersecurity, smart cities are flawed. The more things that are connected, the greater the opportunity for cyber-attackers to infiltrate systems, exfiltrate sensitive data and disrupt potentially critical systems in law enforcement, public health and other municipal applications.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices should be of particular concern because their use in smart cities is growing exponentially. According to the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, the number of active IoT connections in Europe alone is expected to grow to 740 million by 2026. Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks threat intelligence arm’s 2020 IoT Threat Report found that 98 per cent of all IoT traffic is unencrypted, meaning that any cybercriminals that have successfully bypassed the first line of defence can collect and sell exposed personal or confidential information. Smart cities are great in terms of the new capabilities they bring, but it can all come crashing down around elected officials, government department heads, local businesses, citizens and visitors if cybersecurity is not a top priority.

Secure Smart Cities by Design

Smart cities must be ‘secure by design’. Connected systems for first responders, environmental controls, public internet access, traffic management, green energy and more must be based on rock-solid, intuitive and automated security protocols and policies from the start.

Cybersecurity that is ‘bolted on’ after systems are in place – and maybe after data breaches have already occurred – is next to worthless. Hackers are resourceful and highly collaborative – add-on security initiatives won’t work. One big reason why is the dramatic proliferation of endpoints – different forms of sensor-based systems and devices as gateways for hackers to the cloud where they can access far more.

This expansion of the attack vector is even more problematic when you consider that IoT devices, both for commercial and industrial applications, have innate security challenges because they often can’t support the memory requirements for many cybersecurity protocols. Then, add in the reality that humans—municipal workers, citizens, visitors and businesspeople piggybacking onto municipal Wi-Fi systems—are often weak links in the cybersecurity chain because of poor security hygiene.

Achieve Cyber Resilience

City, region and national leaders can achieve cyber resilience, but a big obstacle to overcome is, ironically, governance. The lack of governance on smart cities initiatives on a wide range of issues such as data handling, privacy policies, access privileges and more, is highly problematic. For example, when hiring a vendor to install smart streetlights, if government officials and their technical teams don’t have the right governance policies in place, there will either be delays or insecure lights installed. If they are insecure, hackers could access back-office systems through the lights, and data exfiltration or worse could result.

Good cybersecurity hygiene by all stakeholders involved in smart cities is imperative. Strong authentication policies, such as frequent and regular changing of passwords, multi-factor authentication and increased adoption of biometrics, are essential. This needs to be a personal commitment by anyone accessing smart cities digital services, but automated policies mandated and installed by the governments must also be created.

In addition, municipalities need people looking after the smart cities programs who have cybersecurity experience and expertise. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a team of security engineers, but you do need leaders and practitioners for whom cybersecurity is a familiar discipline. They need to be able to see the big picture and ensure that the technical and operational details are in place.

Tick off the Cybersecurity Checklist

There are key questions that non-technical municipal leaders—elected officials and governmental department heads—must be ready to ask their chief information security officer, CIO and other technical executives who have cybersecurity oversight. These include:

  • What is our documented incident response plan?
  • What are our governance strategies for securing systems, applications, data and identities?
  • Should we allow our legacy IT systems that most likely are not secure by design to connect with newer systems and devices?
  • What kind, and what frequency, of cybersecurity testing are we doing? What metrics do we receive on those tests, and what do we do about the results?

Successful smart cities initiatives require a checklist with four major elements: visibility, to make sure you see what is actually happening in those systems; analytics, to identify risks and abnormal systems and network behaviour; control, to manage and, if necessary, to compartmentalise key systems against threats, and coordination among all key constituents to ensure that security is ‘baked in’ for smart cities initiatives. To avoid hackers infiltrating networks and stealing private data, all stakeholders in smart cities need to ensure their municipalities are fully protected. Adopting the ‘secure by design’ mantra is crucial to making that happen.

Originally published
Smart Cities World | September 21, 2020
Haider Pasha, chief security officer, Middle East and Africa, Palo Alto Networks

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Gold Level Contributor

EIT InnoEnergy chooses Boston as its US launchpad

Boston is regarded as a ‘hotbed’ for sustainable energy innovation

The new office will help entrepreneurs develop their innovations and reduce time to market by providing direct access to more than 500 industrial partners in its ecosystem.

European sustainable energy accelerator EIT InnoEnergy has announced its first move into US markets, opening an office in Boston as the launchpad for its expansion.

According to EIT InnoEnergy, the new office will help entrepreneurs develop their innovations and reduce time to market by providing direct access to more than 500 industrial partners in its ecosystem. It chose Boston because it regards it as a ‘hotbed’ for sustainable energy innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Clean energy-focused

Supporting the launch, the accelerator has signed a partnership deal with Greentown Labs, one of the largest cleantech start-up incubators in North America. Both organisations are active members of the Incubatenergy Network, a consortium of US clean energy-focused incubators that have supported more than 500 companies.

The transatlantic expansion will be mutually beneficial to start-ups and partners on both sides of the ocean, offering access to new markets and resources including investors, educators, and talent. By enhancing its ecosystem in this way, EIT InnoEnergy claims it will further dismantle barriers to innovation spurring a wave of new sustainable energy technologies in areas such as offshore wind, storage, and e-mobility.

EIT InnoEnergy said its involvement with the Incubatenergy Network, coupled with organic growth in its start-up portfolio, led it to consider a greater presence in the US to help further accelerate innovation.

The new office is led by Mark Vasu, a founding team member of Greentown Labs, who has been appointed as US operations manager while Elena Bou, EIT InnoEnergy’s innovation director, has joined Greentown Labs’ advisory board.

“Solving the energy transition is a challenge without borders. “By expanding our ecosystem to incorporate more diversity and richness, we can ensure that the very best sustainable energy innovations benefit all corners of the world,” said Bou.

“Following an extensive search, it was clear that the Northeast US is the best location from which to expand our ecosystem and Greentown Labs is the perfect partner in the region to work with. Together we can create new opportunities for transatlantic partnerships, research and sales, not only shortening time to market, but also substantially increasing the impact of all involved.”

In addition to the Greentown Labs partnership, EIT InnoEnergy also announced that specialised US VCs including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, TDK Ventures, City Light and Arctern Ventures have joined its VC community.

“I am excited to bring Europe’s most trusted ‘go to’ ecosystem to the US and leverage the network, knowledge, and depth of partnerships it has built in parallel with my tenure building Greentown Labs,” added Vasu.

“EIT InnoEnergy’s expansion into the US is an enormous opportunity to help sustainable energy start-ups, both in the US and in Europe, that are looking to diversify geographically and rapidly scale their operations.”

The Boston location joins EIT InnoEnergy’s pan-European business activity via its network of offices in Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, Karlsruhe, Grenoble, Stockholm, Krakow, Brussels, Eindhoven and Amsterdam.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld News Team | September 10, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

Taxis Drive Smart City Creation

Image: Wes Hicks - Unsplash

As the world has advanced technologically, the word "smart" has been applied to everything from smartphones to smart homes. Everything is "smart" now, including cities. A smart city utilizes various Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to collect data around the city, which is analyzed to better run and manage the city's resources and services. Some applications include traffic congestion, noise, and pollution control, among others.

All these applications require data, and more specifically, accurate learning requires good data. This leads to one of the major problems with developing smart cities: cities are large. Beijing is 1,600 square miles with a population of more than 20 million, while comparatively, New York City is 302 square miles with more than eight million. To collect data, sensors need to be all over the city, but it is impossible to deploy them everywhere due to cost, labor and limited accessibility to certain areas.

Pei Zhang, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, turned to taxis as a mobile sensing platform. Why? A fleet of taxis has a long operational time, a large spatial coverage, and great potential for data collection.

"Placing sensors all over a city with high density would be expensive and difficult to maintain, but managed fleets like taxis are everywhere and go everywhere in a city," said Zhang.

Despite the potential of a taxi fleet, it also brings new challenges. If sensors are deployed on taxis without any rules or regulations, the data will probably have errors and incomplete results because taxis naturally do not travel to every part of a city. Instead, they are densely situated in around popular places. "Taxis are not designed to support research," joked Zhang.


As researchers collected data, they emphasized two main goals: a larger percentage of city area covered and a more evenly distributed coverage. On the left, 12.5% of the area is covered; and on the right, 25% is covered by the same number of vehicles.

To gain better data for accurate learning, Zhang and his colleagues developed an algorithm to create the best plan to motivate taxi drivers to drive to less popular areas-to actuate them in order to collect data via monetary incentives. The researchers emphasized two main goals for data collection: a larger percentage of city area covered and a more evenly distributed coverage. To determine which taxis to actuate for the best data, the algorithm considered several factors, including the location of a given taxi, the possible routes, the potential customers, and the need to reduce costs.

"Basically, the algorithm would tell the driver: 'follow my route, you may find more customers, but if you don't, we'll pay you the difference,'" said Zhang. "For us, we get new data along the new path and improve our overall understanding in the city."

The actuation system for city-wide crowdsourcing of data reaped positive results. The researchers saw a 40 percent improvement in sensing coverage quality and up to 30 percent increase on ride request matching rates, with only 10 percent of the baseline budget required. They have collaborated with Chinese company Environmental Thinking and currently have 146 deployments in Shenzhen and 19 in Tianjin.

As part of the collaboration, they developed a pollution mapping tool called Atmospheric Monitoring System that tracks a multitude of information about air pollution in a given place. 

The tool compiles information from weather to 24-hour graphs of particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) pollution into one platform.

"As cities becomes smarter, our system will provide high resolution and accuracy sensing information to city managers or occupants," said Zhang. "With better situational awareness, a smart city will be better able to respond to its occupants."

Originally published by
Marika Yang | July 15, 2020
Carnegie Mellon University

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Gold Level Contributor

Some years ago, in the middle of Brittany (France’s westernmost region), the mayor of a small village, Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt,  nearly fell from his chair when he found out the content of his mail on a sunny morning. 

A water bill was ridiculously high in comparison to previous years. This was due to the leak in their distribution system they hadn’t noticed for over a year, which amounted to the equivalent of 26 swimming pools!

And that’s not all, looking closer, every single year, gas and electricity bills were also going up for no apparent reason.

IoT: The Answer to Heterogeneity

What’s necessary to know is that in these French villages (thousands of them throughout all the country) public buildings are very heterogeneous, following the impact of political history.

Usually, with up to 200 years old for the Townhall (first Empire), between 100 and 20 years old for the schools (Third Republique), and other very recent facilities like the sports halls. Churches are much older, but not the public buildings.

So each of those constructions has its own particular structure, heating, and water system. They have been made and refurbished one by one for decades, which is even more complex with systems mapping or, for example, water leak detection.

In Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt, with only 27 sensors deployed on water, gas and electricity meters, and in the (very few) public buildings in the village, the money saved on energy consumption reduction will exceed the costs of the IoT installation (20K€) after the 5 years time frame. Thanks to smarter use of heating and early leak detection, from one day to another, a small team of the Townhall could have a precise idea of real-time consumption in all parts of the town and know where to focus their renovation investments. 

Simple Management System

As you can presume, services for a town of this size don’t have enough resources to hire specialized engineers. So an intuitive front-end solution, in the language of the country, is totally crucial. In a village of this size, the main user of the platform will be the mayor himself.

It’s important not to focus on features and gadgets, but to have a straight outcome mindset. The end-user needs to look at his tablet and understand right away:

  • the real-time consumption for each building
  • if it’s normal use or not
  • how to decrease the consumption

As for the last point, the support of a bigger public organization with an experienced HR department will come in handy.

Read more

Originally published by
Benjamin Daix | June 29, 2020
iot for all

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Silver Level Contributor

A collaboration between Qualcomm and Infinite is another attempt to get smart city tech rolling. This combination offers the services and products of the two companies as a service business model. (Pixabay)

Qualcomm will collaborate on smart cities deployments with Infinite Computer Solutions using an Internet of Things-as-a-Service business model, the companies announced Tuesday.

Their approach is designed to reduce the fragmentation that has dragged down IoT-related smart city projects in recent years, with many vendors attempting to sell proprietary technologies to cities and other governments.

The Qualcomm approach with Infinite will rely on offering companies and governments disparate systems of sensors and networks that are platform agnostic with a unified  management view of an end-to-end IoT platform that is coupled with analytics and AI, officials from the companies said.

“Multiple companies have tried this before and failed,” said Sanjeet Pandit, head of Qualcomm’s smart cities initiative in an interview with FierceElectronics. “We will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and cellular with 5G coupled with hardware and security and experience.  Previous attempts have been Huawei-ized or IBM-ized but ours is open and platform agnostic.”

Infinite will bring its Zyter SmartSpaces software for integration of disparate IoT elements, said Sanjay Govil, chairman of Infinite.  The work with Qualcomm will be Infinite’s entry into IoT, but the company has been active with healthcare, events and defense customers for three years.  Working with Qualcomm “will be right in our sweet spot for how to connect disparate systems for a unified view,” he said.

The system will be able to ingest data from legacy or new sensors or cameras to interpret data, Pandit added. “This approach reduces fragmentation and the reduces the cost to be paid by customers across multiple verticals,” he said.

On June 9, Qualcomm announced a separate collaboration with JLC Infrastructure and IGNITE Cities to develop smart and connected tech.

Originally published by
Matt Hamblen | Jun 23, 2020
Fierce Electronics

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Gold Level Contributor

Smart cities can unlock considerable business potential for the United Arab Emirates but a new report warns governments and organisations of the IoT’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The IoT expands the potential attack surface for cyber criminals

Smart cities have the potential to unlock considerable business potential for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to a new report, but it also warns of the considerable cybersecurity threat brought by the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices.

In the study, Smart Cities: the Power, the Risks, the Response, Digital14, a UAE-based advisor in digital transformation and cyber resilience, also suggests cyberattacks are expected to rise, as the government and organisations adopt the benefits of smart city technologies.

Expanded attack surface

The report raises concerns about the considerably expanded attack surface for “cyber adversaries of all kinds”, presented by the IoT.

It proposes six takeaways for organisations to defend themselves against new and evolving threats, including validating IoT devices before deployment, continuously monitoring all devices on the IoT network, and isolating IoT devices away from crucial and sensitive networks.

“Smart cities will undoubtedly unlock enormous efficiency and productivity gains for the UAE and other nations,” said Joshua Knight, executive vice president cyber defence at Digital14. “However, the highly networked environment that UAE companies operate within offers opportunities to release prolific malware that can have catastrophic ramifications or stimulate lucrative criminal enterprises.

“By their very nature, smart cities simply broaden the attack surface available to malicious actors.”

There are an estimated 22 billion networked devices worldwide and each of these devices serves as an entry point for malicious actors, with everyday gadgets such as IP cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs) likely to be at the greatest risk.

The report highlights that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is increasingly prone to IoT attacks, with more than 18 per cent of public-facing hosts in the UAE alone potentially vulnerable to such attacks, according to the report.

“IoT devices are the weak link in the smart city chain,” continues Knight. “It is imperative that organisations and individual end users recognise this potential vulnerability and take prudent steps to secure their networks and protect themselves from cyberattacks.”


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Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | May 28, 2020

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Gold Level Contributor

The satellite constellation's orbit can cover the Greater Bay Area once every two days

Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group has announced its first Starlink satellite constellation project that will help build smart cities across Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group (HKATG) has announced its first Starlink satellite constellation project with a view to helping build smart cities across the Greater Bay Area (GBA), encompassing Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau.

 The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Golden Bauhinia Satellite Constellation project will see the company deploy a low-orbit, high-frequency satellite to map the “ecological life-cycle” data of the GBA.

 Smart cities of the future

 According to HKATG, the first Starlink project in Hong Kong will be dedicated to building smart cities of the future. The information collected will be deployed in pursuit of speeding up smart city development, helping to boost Hong Kong’s competitiveness and economy.

 The Golden Bauhinia satellite’s orbit can cover the entire Greater Bay Area once every two days, which is an area of up to 56,000 square kilometres. HKATG reports that the satellite can revisit an area every 30 minutes to obtain up-to-date information.

 Speaking about the future development of the aerospace industry, Sun FengQuan, chairman of HKATG, said the satellite industry would become increasingly closely correlated to market economies, allowing space industry players to enter the commercial mainstream.

Read more here

Originally posted
Smart Cities News

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Platinum Level Contributor

The rise of autonomous vehicles will redefine how our cities are built and how we perceive transportation in urban environments.


As digital transformation has taken over the world, we interact with more and more intelligent gadgets. Today, our smartphones are always with us; at the end of the day, we get in our smart vehicle and drive to our smart home. And all this to simplify our daily activities and make life more convenient. But have you ever wondered how far could this go?

Automation of routine tasks is currently a concept that interests many industries. Among the most revolutionary parts of it are autonomous vehicles. There are visions of the future of city infrastructure. The main ideas they all share are self-driving cars and shared mobility. Those are set to revolutionize the ways we navigate through cities. 

Such concepts will make our whole cities smart, by fundamentally changing their infrastructure so that it’s adapted to autonomous vehicles. This will provide us with much safer roads. According to the USA National Highway Traffic Administration, 94 percent of serious car crashes are due to human error.

Autonomous driving wouldn’t need people’s decisions, which could often be dangerous and irrational to take you from point A to point B. This means a significant decrease in accidents and thousands of saved lives. 

The tremendous technological progress now gives us the possibility to have a closer look at all the advantages we could have in our cities of the future, together with autonomous driving and the new smart infrastructure. 

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