The Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G are not only becoming commonplace in businesses, but also in our communities: 66% of US cities are investing in smart city technology. Smart technology has the potential to make cities operate better and quicker through intelligent traffic signals, smart meters for utilities, Wi-Fi kiosks, E-governance applications, and more, according to a recent National League of Cities report.

SEE: Smart cities: A business leader’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

To help smart cities take off, many companies have launched competitions in which communities can pitch smart city projects to be implemented in their area. Past examples of these contests include the US DOT Smart City Challenge and IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge.

Parsons Corporation, along with their partners and sponsors are joining the effort with their Transforming Intersections Smart Cities Challenge. This contest, in particular, aims to make mobility throughout cities more efficient.

“The world today is facing a significant global mobility challenge and the infrastructure that moves cities needs to keep pace with the technology,” said Bryce McDevitt, senior director of external communications at Parsons. “Our goal is to give cities the opportunity to increase their mobility, reduce their carbon footprint, and keep their city safer.”

As cities continue developing and attracting large populations, effectively organizing a city’s transportation network becomes more difficult—particularly at intersections, according to the press release.

Where smart tech comes in

US citizens currently spend a week and a half of their life every year waiting at traffic lights, said McDevitt. “By simply updating intersections, we’ll give people their lives back. That’s a week and a half of more time of focus on oneself and time spent with your loved ones,” he added.

Another aspect of this is sustainability, McDevitt said.

“We believe drivers can reduce their fuel consumption by 20% with simply having well-timed signals,” McDevitt noted. “All that combines to create faster, more agile mobility systems that will increase economic growth, free time, and spur innovation.”

Click here to enter the Transforming Intersections Smart Cities challenge.

For more, check out the Top smart city predictions for 2019 on TechRepublic.

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Image: sinology, Getty Images/iStockphoto