Smart cities could give people back 125 hours each year, claims new Intel study

An Intel-sponsored study by Juniper Research estimates that smart cities have the potential to “give back” around 125 hours to every resident every year. The study also ranks the top 20 smart cities worldwide across four key areas: mobility, health care, public safety and productivity, and reveals how these cities deliver positive outcomes for increased time savings and productivity, increases in health and overall quality of life, and a safer environment. The study found that Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco and Singapore (pictured), are the world’s leading cities integrating IoT technologies and connected services. These cities stand out because of their cohesive efforts to connect city municipalities, businesses and their citizens to address a growing need to improve “livability” – specifically around mobility (San Francisco and Singapore), public safety (Chicago, New York and Singapore), health care (London and Singapore), and productivity (Chicago, London and Singapore) – as they transition to a smarter, more connected environment.

Of the cities surveyed, Singapore not only ranked as the top “smart city” overall but also came out top in each of the key areas measured. San Francisco and London were ranked second and third in terms of mobility for their efforts to use technology solutions to curb mobility-related issues such as traffic congestion. Many of the IoT technologies identified in the study – including mobility, health and public safety solutions – are already being deployed around the world.

Productivity: The report identifies gains from encouraging digital innovation to address urban planning challenges. The ability for citizens to access digital services and city information, were also deemed to be critical in improving citizens’ productivity in the study. Singapore, London and Chicago were found to be leaders in this area, each with large open data stores alongside strategies to encourage private innovation.

Mobility: The average peak-time vehicle speed in cities is a dismal 4 mph. This gridlock causes drivers to lose up to 70 hours per year. The study determined an integrated IoT-enabled infrastructure of intelligent traffic systems, safer roads, directed parking, frictionless toll and parking payments can give back up to 60 hours a year to drivers otherwise stuck in their cars.

Health: The study found that smart cities with connected digital health services can play a significant role in creating efficiencies – saving citizens almost 10 hours a year – and even potential lifesaving benefits for both patients and caregivers. Examples such as wearable apps monitor blood pressure, pain tolerance and temperature to help people manage chronic conditions without hospitalisation. “Telemedicine” enables contagious flu sufferers to avoid doctor’s offices with an examination via high-speed video link from the comfort of their home.

Public Safety: Improvements in public safety can deliver substantial time benefits for smart city citizens – nearly 35 hours per year, according to the study. For instance, in Portland, Oregon, (No. 12 in the Juniper Smart Cities Index) and San Diego (No. 14), Intel joined GE* and AT&T* to deploy the Digital Infrastructure with Current, powered by GE’s CityIQ™*. This enables the cityscape to generate valuable data. Street lights transform into connected digital infrastructure beacons, monitoring the pulse of city life, which enable a range of local departments to be safer, cleaner and more efficient.