Deployment of wireless smart sensors to monitor the integrity of bridges and identify leakages in water distribution pipelines helps the city authorities to prioritise their limited investments. Early this year, AT&T launched a service in the USA to monitor the condition of ageing infrastructure assets such as bridges, roadways and railways for cracks, tilts etc. This will help the authorities to make the repair or replace decisions with accurate real-time data.
Telecom operators are especially better positioned to scale up their pilot projects and create a compelling business case, due to their national or even international presence. For such smart solutions to work, the city needs to have certain basic infrastructure in place, which may not be the case with many fast-developing Asian cities.
However, there are applications where cities in Asia, could efficiently incorporate smart solutions. Examples include the following: A crowd sourced mobile app called Safetipin was initially launched in New Delhi and later expanded to other Asian cities like Manila. The objective is to make the cities safer, by involving users to perform audits and rank various locations.
Chiayi City in South-central Taiwan, which was listed as having the worst air-quality in Taiwan, transformed itself within four years, using technology and community engagement. The success was due to an integrated approach of a) setting up Air Box for particulate matter monitoring and display; b) developing a network of smart e-bikes to reduce traffic congestion; and c) creating awareness in schools and communities.
Indonesia has kicked off several smart street lighting projects especially in Jakarta and other cities in Java. Smart street lighting is increasingly recognised as the first step toward the development of a smart city, with multiple benefits like energy savings, public safety etc. New business models such as Lighting-as-a-service are exploited in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Makassar. The business opportunity for smart street lighting in Indonesia is four times that of a developed economy like Germany.