6 IoT Innovations Making Cities Smarter

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From sensors that measure water leaks to smart parking meters and self-driving buses, internet of things (IoT) technologies are a major contributor to the rise of smart cities. Here is a look at 6 innovative uses of IoT in municipalities around the world.

Increasing urbanization is putting unprecedented pressure on city officials to constantly balance the challenge of resource constraints against environmental sustainability concerns. As a result, governments are turning to the internet of things (IoT) technologies to help make the world's metropolises run more efficiently.

IoT, which makes it possible for virtually everything to be Internet-connected and accessible remotely for data collection and control, is a contributing factor pushing the concept of smart cities.

Research firm Gartner defines a smart city as "an urbanized area where multiple sectors cooperate to achieve sustainable outcomes through the analysis of contextual, real-time information shared among sector-specific information and operational technology systems."

Once a smart city network is implemented, it becomes relatively easy to collect all kinds of data, but the secret to success is in intelligently analyzing the data in order to make accurate and automated decisions.\

[See 11 Ways IT Professionals Can Make Sense of IoT Data.]

Smart homes and smart commercial buildings grew to represent 45% of total connected things in use in 2015, due to investment and service opportunity, according to a report from Gartner. The research firm estimates that the figure will rise to 81% by 2020.

California and the UK are already implementing radio receivers or sensors that are embedded on a section of highway to diagnose traffic conditions in real time.

Another successful use of IoT in the city is smart parking. The city of Los Angeles, for example, has been implementing new parking meters, parking space vehicle sensors, real-time parking guidance and a full parking management system to influence demand during peak times.

Here is a look at how IoT is making cities from all over the world smarter.

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