One hundred years ago, just one in every 50 people was a city dweller; but by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in a city. With this continued urbanization, infrastructure is at risk of collapsing – and with that come visions of constant traffic jams, overcrowded streets, cramped living spaces and a lack of security.
Smart cities could be the answer to these concerns. Equipped with the latest technology, these urban jungles adapt themselves to the needs of the local population. They run on Big Data – huge volumes of data from the Internet, mobile networks, traffic, the energy sector and elsewhere. Analysing this data enables us to make accurate predictions which are then used in the Internet of Things and in connecting devices, sensors, etc. via IP networks: a trip to the mall is personalized, refrigerators order groceries without human intervention, and traffic lights automatically switch to a red signal. The evolution of urban centers into smart cities affects all aspects of daily life.
Street-embedded sensors could make commuting easier by identifying free parking spaces and directing vehicles to them. Public transport might become more attractive with the installation of phased traffic lights. Or, for an even faster option, the magnetically levitating Hyperloop could soon carry passengers through tunnels at up to 1,100 km/h (approx. 680 mph).
Furthermore, houseboats and even earthscrapers, which extend 300 metres below the ground, might offer attractive additional living space. And smart access control systems will provide more security at home and at work – for example, by identifying employees and directing them to a suitable workspace, or by comparing the information on boarding passes with a passenger’s biometric data using facial recognition software.
Read more on how the development of our urban centers into smart cities affects all aspects of our daily life in the current issue of our customer magazine My Access.
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