The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released the Putting People First – Smart Cities and Communities report. The report covers the benefits, goals, challenges, and success factors associated with smart cities and communities (SC&C) and gives a glimpse of the path forward.
SC&Cs use advanced information and communications technologies to find new ways to solve problems such as potholes and pollution, traffic and parking, public health and safety, and equity and public engagement. SC&Cs create an intelligent and integrated information network by applying sensors and wireless communications technologies to infrastructure, vehicles, wearables, and any number of physical devices.
SC&Cs use this network to receive, analyze, and share data in real-time for decision-making and response.
The report outlines the three hallmarks for establishing an SC&C:
Networks: Networks of sensors to gather and integrate data that can be used for various applications and citizen services
Connectivity: Connectivity to enable city officials to interact directly with the community and to monitor and manage city infrastructure.
Open Data: SC&Cs are committed to an open data philosophy and should routinely share operations and planning data with the public.
In addition, the report highlights some of the ways that communities are applying SC&C concepts along with how the USDOT is supporting those efforts. It shares results from a survey of 52 US cities on their use of SC&C technologies.
The most common SC&C activities among the 52 cities responding to the survey were:
Traffic management: 69%
Data management: 63%
Public transportation: 63%
Automation or connectivity for vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians: 63%
The most frequently identified challenges included:
Lack of standards: 38%
Coordination across city departments: 37%
Lack of mature technology: 32%
Lack of cybersecurity: 32%
The report also provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of SC&Cs and the key factors that can drive success.