There's a need for smart city tech on dry land and at sea, and Las Vegas, Cary, NC, and the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands have all found ways to benefit from adding technology. Officials from the three municipalities shared their stories at Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, FL.
Cisco uses its Kinetics platform to work with each of these customers to analyze data traffic from sensors, cell phone, video feeds and other sources in order to create policy, such as a security configuration policy, and to give city leaders information that can improve the lives of citizens and visitors.
In the Port of Rotterdam, officials have launched the 42 container that will replace traditional shipping containers. The smart container will launch Rotterdam into the digital world of shipping, which ties into the smart city tech already in place in the city of Rotterdam.
"The world population is still growing and there's more traveling, and more people want to live in urban areas and ports will become more and more important in these areas to support all the growth," said Erwin Rademaker, director of the Port of Rotterdam. As a result, it's important for ports to work with their neighboring cities to solve mutual challenges. In the Netherlands, the port and the city of Rotterdam are both working to improve energy usage and also making the port beautiful for citizens and visitors.
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There are autonomous ships being built for the port, and smart infrastructure is being put in place to accommodate the ships once they launch. It was previously predicted that the ships would be in place in 2030, but the timeline has been stepped up and the ships are currently being built, Rademaker said.
In Las Vegas, the city is working with Cisco to collect and analyze traffic and other data to become a smarter city as it undergoes a digital transformation.
Michael Sherwood, director of technology and innovation for the City of Las Vegas, said, "The beauty of what we're doing here is we use the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform. I's really a view into our city in real time, giving us air quality, public safety data, environmental statistics, it's really the foundation for everything and the center of all sensor data that's coming into the city."
The key is using the platform to analyze how people and vehicles use intersections so that they can be made safer, and reduce fatalities. Analyzing the data from sensors will help make intersections safer, Sherwood said.
The next step, Sherwood said, involves autonomous shuttles. "Imagine being at a bus stop and having instead of this large bus that has 100 seats, with maybe only five filled, think about that autonomous shuttle that actually is able to be part of the city. It knows how many people are at the bus stop waiting for a bus, and then we can pontoon these vehicles together, and bring exactly the right amount of transportation to where it's needed and carry them throughout the city. That's one of the small things we're working on."
The city of Las Vegas is also working on parking for autonomous vehicles by using the Kinetic platform for real-time curb monitoring with data being sent to UPS and Amazon so that they know where vehicles can park and unload merchandise before they even arrive in an area of the city, Sherwood said.
"The last piece that we're really excited about is our artificial intelligence and machine learning technology where we're using video cameras in parks and in streets, not just to sweep the street every Monday because that's what we've always done in Las Vegas, but to now sweep the street when the street actually needs to be swept, when it's dirty. Clean a park when the park is actually dirty and needs attention, rather than going to the park every Monday or Tuesday," Sherwood said.
In Cary, the town established an information services advisory board to develop a plan for transformation. a really key component of that plan were looking for those day to day instances in life where we can make seemingly small improvements that make a big impact, said Nicole Raimundo, CIO of the Town of Cary.
"One of the growing areas of challenges for us as we grow was always parking, especially in our downtown. As we revitalized that area, that's going to become more and more of an issue. To deploy smart city technology, especially around the parking in our downtown, would be huge economic development boost," Raimundo said.
Cisco has put in sensors in a parking lot near Cary's community center. "It's highly used, actually, by our aging community, so it's important for us to be able to monitor the number of handicap spots as well as the overall usage in general," Raimundo said.
There's also an environmental advisory board in place to make Cary more sustainable. "Our partnership with Cisco on light really has allowed us to get everything that we want and don't have to sacrifice sustainability to be able to meet our safety goals," Raimundo said.
Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.