Setting the Stage for Smart Cities in the 5G Era

By 2050, it’s estimated that 66% of the world population will live in urban areas. Meeting the demands of a growing urban population while reducing its environmental impact, improving public safety, and optimizing efficiency will require transformative technologies and concerted planning.

Fortunately, we live at an amazing point in time when wireless, cloud, social, and information technologies are converging. This means we have an incredible opportunity to create and deliver innovative technology solutions that drive a safer and more efficient world.

Welcome to the era of smart cities.

Shanghai city network technology
Smart Cities

As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality, I see three major trends of emerging smart technologies:

Everyday Objects…Smarter

Devices, including things like meters, sensors and even cars connected to each other and everything around, are going to have capability well beyond the uses they were created for – imagine a world where they have the ability to communicate with each other and the network –providing unprecedented access to information.  A time where even our street lamps, park benches, and trash cans will be part of an IoT network which can provide real-time data on a seemingly endless array of form factors. With the ability to communicate with each other, smart cities and IoT will enable positive impact on things like energy use, traffic flow and the use of city resources.

Real Time Connectivity

New services will require constant connectivity and the intelligence to facilitate real-time adaptability based on data from the mesh of connected devices. For example, advances in sensors, increases in computing power, and the availability of high bandwidth and reliable communication networks opens up new opportunities for law enforcement to detect and fight crime or for environmental sensors to monitor and respond to natural disasters. Ultimately, the smart technology era could lead to big advances in public safety.

The Autonomous Era

Devices will facilitate real-time autonomous adaptability based on data from the mesh of connected devices. This will require the confluence of low-latency wireless connectivity, computing intelligence, and distributed cloud resources.


A Real-World Example

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the connected car and how it will create safer roadways through collision avoidance and other smart capabilities such as real-time traffic and weather data, secure over-the-air software updates. Additionally, autonomous driving can have a significant impact on city infrastructure and energy efficiency in urban areas.

Imagine the way that a smart car interacts with a smart stoplight. The car communicates with the light to know that, if the light is red, the car will stop. However, this communication is also one piece of data among the countless pieces of information being analyzed in real time. All the cars in the entire city are communicating together, giving municipalities the data needed to adjust traffic lights in real time to enable the most efficient traffic flow.

This sort of capability could provide incredible economic impact.  Currently, vehicle congestion typically erodes a country’s GDP by one to three percent.  Optimizing traffic flows could help reduce the time wasted as well as environmental impact and infrastructure wear-and-tear.

What’s Next?

At Intel, we understand that the systems required to make smart cities a reality need an unprecedented integration of wireless connectivity, computing intelligence, and distributed cloud resources. In addition to groundbreaking technology, careful resource and infrastructure planning is crucial to smart city implementation. We’re excited to lead the industry in transforming businesses and the way we live through exciting, innovative IoT solutions.

Published on Categories 5G, Technologies for our LivesTags , , ,
Asha Keddy

About Asha Keddy

Asha R. Keddy is Corporate Vice President at Intel Corporation, where she also serves as the General Manager of Next Generation and Standards (NGS) Group. A recognized industry leader, Keddy’s passion is in understanding how advancements in technology can improve the lives of people, and the environment in which we live—creating a safer, healthier, smarter society for all. Keddy’s organization enables new business verticals and applications - participating in industry consortia; contributing to global standards; developing and testing prototypes in trials, and driving product innovation. Her team facilitates trials with other ecosystem partners, key learnings from which have been influential in setting government and industry policy, and in furthering the convergence of communications and computing with end-to-end technology solutions. This work will open up new market opportunities in multiple verticals, including games, sports, connected cars, and smart cities, while bringing forward the advanced capabilities of artificial intelligence, visual data, mixed reality and connectivity-based technologies to address residential, enterprise and industrial business needs. Keddy’s vision of innovation is based on iterative development, insights about people, and a commitment to partnerships with industry and governments alike. Keddy leads 5G partner strategy and development efforts for Intel. This multi-year investment, her team’s work, and dozens of trials with industry-leading manufacturing, operator, and vertical partners have resulted in several world “firsts.” These accomplishments will accelerate 5G commercial deployment across industrial, automotive, fixed wireless and enterprise use cases in all major geographies. The learnings and Intellectual Property (IP) from these engagements will also serve to evolve the development of system architectures and incubation of technologies and IP for wireless at Intel. Ms. Keddy lives in the Portland, Oregon, and in her personal time enjoys reading, painting, hiking, biking and kayaking with her husband and dog.