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Three building blocks to making cities smarter today

In a recent interview of technologist Tom Armitage, the article asserts that most of what we need for smart cities already exists, he challenges the misconception that in order to take your cities and town smarter, you need to hire leading high end global consultants, prepare for mass disruption, and bring with you a multi-million (if not billion) pound budget – and at Clearview Traffic we wholeheartedly agree with him.

Building A Smart City

In the article, we picked out in our view three rational truths about what it takes to build a smarter city:

Truth 1: – “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel”

Absolutely right. Smart cities have been spoken about for the last 15-20 years and in times gone past, the vision was very aspirational and the technology to make it a reality didn’t exist.

Many had a vision of needing to totally transform the entire infrastructure of a city, and all manner of space age visual concepts of cities of the future started to appear (just like the one above).

But it just isn’t necessary, and this is where we agree with what we see as the second truth from this article.

Truth 2: “By overlaying existing infrastructure with intelligent software and sensors, you can turn it into something else and connect it to a larger system”

This aligns with the basic premise of our approach at Clearview Traffic. Our interactive Smart Cityscape shows just how easy it is to implement today’s sensor technology on top of existing infrastructure and provide operators and road users with the type of data and information that keeps traffic moving safely, and enables them to tackle the key issues affecting cities today.

Using intelligent software such as our Insight platform, which is being continually advanced to enable integration with other sensors and benefit from the richness of data and intelligence that can come from exploring multiple data sets, we can glean key insights that can question how we respond to the transport challenges facing a city.

Truth 3: – “It’s better to adapt existing systems to your goals if you have the technology to do it — and we have it.”

Every city is very different and will face different challenges, so a ‘vanilla flavour, one size fits all’ approach will not work. Equally, the challenges facing cities will also evolve.

For instance, if a city does a lot of work to improve traffic flow across a city, such as introducing adaptive traffic signal control using wireless detection, it might find that the next challenge it faces is helping people find parking spaces quickly and efficiently to alleviate congestion and pollution from vehicle emissions.

The point is that even as recently as five years ago, there was too much hyperbole and science fiction around, and the notion of smart cities became little more than a buzzword.

It was all talk – and the technology was not mature enough to make it viable.

Now, that situation has changed and the technology does exist and can be used on today’s network to make a real difference – without breaking the bank.

If you’d like to find out more about Clearview Traffic Group and our Smart City solutions, please feel free to get in touch here.

Author: |Date Published: June 2014


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