Smart Cities

How Buildings and Cars Are Defining the Smart Cities Landscape

Overview Smart buildings and self-driving vehicles are playing a large role in the development of smart infrastructures across the United States, leading cities to a greener future.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® report Smart Infrastructure: Building & Mobility Solutions for US Smart Cities defines the goal of smart cities as “[using] emerging technology to create more efficient cities, address unique challenges and create a better life for citizens.”

As the United States joins other countries and cities in the mission to become smart — with 12 of the top 50 smartest cities in the world — innovators are using technology to relieve traffic congestion, improve mobility, accommodate the growing urban population and more.


Intelligent Buildings for Intelligent Life

Buildings in the U.S. make up a large portion of energy use, particularly in larger, more densely populated cities. Motivated by financial incentives and energy savings, tech innovators and stakeholders are starting to incorporate technologies into buildings for more sustainable living.

Solar panels, tankless water heaters, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered building management systems and more are examples of ways the Internet of Things can solve day-to-day operational problems, from predicting resource usage to helping to automate routine tasks.

On the “Reality of Smart City Development” panel at CES® 2020, Omar Khan of augmented reality startup Magic Leap said of smart cities, “If technology does not serve us and amplify our lives, then obviously we are not doing our jobs.”

Even as the industry works through data and security questions and concerns to motivate a broader adoption of smart building tech, growing consumer awareness of savings and improved occupant experiences are making a push for smart buildings.

If technology does not serve us and amplify our lives, then obviously we are not doing our jobs.

Omar Khan
Chief Product Officer, Magic Leap


Cars and Cities: A Symbiotic Relationship

Self-driving vehicles, predicted to reach 33 million units in global sales by 2040, could both assist and benefit from the advancement of smart cities and the digitization of city infrastructure.

Connected cars will enable safer navigation and minimize traffic congestion, and may even optimize parking spaces to ultimately create greener spaces.

By sharing data, vehicles — self-driving or otherwise — would be able to use city data to make routing decisions, while cities could use the constantly updated information from the network of cars on roads to analyze traffic, population, maintenance needs and more.

Smart cities are leveraging technological growth to more effectively improve lifestyles and move toward a more efficient future. Partnerships among the private sector, public sector and citizens are also driving further growth in the industry across the world.

As cities across the U.S. plan to launch pilot programs for more connected smart city initiatives over the next two years, stay tuned to discover which technologies take hold as smarter living becomes a norm.

Learn more about the smart cities landscape in the U.S. and how AI and 5G are improving the urban experience in CTA’s Smart Infrastructure: Building & Mobility Solutions for U.S. Smart Cities report.

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