In this modern-day and age, sprawling and bustling urban cities are actually vying to get the “smart city” tag, so they have gone to great extents to modernize to keep up with other smart cities. But what does this branding really mean? What makes a city smart in comparison to others? To flesh out the trends for smart cities for this 2020, which is the onset of a new decade, it is critical to first define what a smart city really is all about.
In layman’s terms, smart cities leverage the latest technology to address broad issues like neighborhood safety, economic development, waste disposal, delivery of potable water, urban planning using green solutions, transportation concerns, and the like. The past few years have seen cities imbibing digital transformation trends to improve their citizens quality of life.
Sometimes, these smart cities are referred to as wired cities, digital cities, intelligent cities, or even cyberville. For the upcoming 2020, there will be core technologies that will stay a part of the transformational journey of smart cities. At the same time, there will be fairly new technologies that have been sitting on the sidelines in the past years, which are now ready to take center stage. Some of these are advanced data analytics, AI, and 5G. Let’s discuss these top 10 smart cities trends along with the estimated top 10 statistics further below:
The year 2020 is not just a new year but the signal of a new decade. The concept of 5G is slated to dominate this year with the biggest names in telecom like Verizon, Nokia, Ericsson, AT&T, and more making sure that their 5G offerings stay on point. In the same token, Android’s handset makers will hit the ground hard and running with their 5G offerings in 2020. Because of faster speeds and more reliable connections, smart cities will reap its benefits by being able to offer smarter vehicles, smart processing and manufacturing, and more because they rely on this technology, too. Phones will not just be improved, but just about anything that impacts a human being’s daily life shall be affected positively by the onset of 5G.
Although 5G and WiFi6 are completely different, both technologies do bring everyone faster processing and better wireless connection speeds. Both offerings shall create faster connectivity for office, home, and in-transit use. Download speeds will be three times faster than ever before. The best part, this is extended to far more devices than the previous WiFi5 was able to manage. In 2020, more gadgets can stay connected to the WiFi service without altering its capabilities. From ten devices it is slated to cover fifty over this new decade. On top of that, this faster, smarter, and more efficient WiFi6 can handle a much better load as well as increasing both the quality of data consumed, as well as the volume.
Those companies and organizations that don’t invest in data analytical tools are necessary to stay on top of the game. They help in identifying problems, zeroing in on opportunities, and finding solutions. The processing of real-time data shall be one of the main points of digital transformation in smart cities this 2020.
Those that choose to leverage analytics need to invest in machine learning systems and artificial intelligence in order to navigate the vast amounts of information. These values can bee seen in speed, scale, and convenience. Speed and scale showcase the significance of automating and letting computers do the work, as opposed to assigning real humans who are more prone to actual errors. Thanks to these two, computing large sets of data are possible and can be done at a mere fraction of the time without compromising accuracy. Machine learning and AI have gotten better at analysis and they can also be scaled while they are in their cloud storage. In terms of convenience, these machines are also a lot easier to use and definitely a lot more reliable than the older methods of yore. As good as these machines are performing the past few years, they are slated to improve by leaps and bound this 2020.
Some say that blockchain was a busted overhype this 2019. However, many products that this will finally see some scale this 2020. Blockchain is set to be used for more cases beyond cryptocurrency. Right now, everyone knows that Amazon Web Services has democratized blockchain technology with their blockchain-as-a-service platform which people can choose to subscribe too. Noteworthy, they are not alone in the endeavor. Many industry leaders like Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, and China’s Alibaba have moved to do this as well. Now, there are many cases where blockchain technology is used beyond payments and cryptocurrencies. It has been incorporated in intellectual property and royalties, food safety, and real estate asset management.
RPA or robotic process automation is not a new concept, but it is said to the lowest hanging offering on the AI segment. But as RPA continues to grow and show reliability, 2020 is predicted to be a big year for RPA investments. Last 2019, investments were already poured into these companies such as UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. On top of that, an established company like Cisco is now using RPA to help create rooms for improvement. They can readily increase the value of their existing workforce with this kind of automation. By utilizing this model, smart companies in smart cities are expected to leverage this winning formula.
Some people feel very frustrated with Siri because the platform makes it very difficult to craft a decent voice to text messages. However, some conversational AI tech will become useful in 2020. Software project like Microsoft Conversational AI are currently doubling their efforts to improve this platform, so they just won’t hear correctly. The goal is to follow complex conversations and understand the complexities of emotion, too. The reason for this improvement is that chipsets, silicone components, and SOCs, which have been specifically crafted for smart gadgets, have grown increasingly exceptional at isolating human voice. Noisy background noise can be isolated, thus processing language and accurately reproducing or breaking it down via text can be done in real-time.
These days, ACPCs or always-connected PCs can now function on near-full-day battery life. With strong improvements under this in 2020, people can expect multi-day battery life for their to laptops in the coming days. These new features will indeed make laptop computers a truly portable beast. This feature can revolutionize smart cities with many other forms of tech following suit.
These autonomous cars are being slowly introduced and they will certainly gain traction this 2020. Telsa has made great improvements with this technology, but a collaboration between automobile manufacturers and tech makers will ensure that this area will be boosted up in the coming new year. For instance, companies like Qualcomm and Intel, along with Ford, Volvo, and BMW, have partnered up with Uber to build an autonomous fleet. Even Amazon is gearing to deliver orders via an autonomous drone.
Everything as a service and more User and Customer experience will gain even more momentum in 2020. Even the HP or Hewlett Packard company made an announcement that they would be offering their portfolio of these services by 2020. Most providers are moving towards this direction as there is an evolution of the on-site, hybrid, cloud, off-site, etc methods. Competencies are greatly improved because of 5G and wifi6 along with conversational AI and gesture analysis making sure these changes are felt across industries from healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and more in 2020.
There are many interesting smart cities statistics for this year. Some of them were reported in this year’s Statista and IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities 2019 Predictions. A few of these highlights are:
The older and more mature technologies will not be obsolete this 2020. Instead, they will remain significant factors that will have the power to transform enterprises and personal lives. The upward trajectory of the transformation programs in 2020, will, after all, be dependent on the evolution of existing tech. Those that don’t want to be left behind need to prepare new and better mobility offerings, better consolidation, and overall better performance for a world that has a growing dependence on all things gadget/tech.