Smart traffic tech could save 4.2b man-hours annually

Eden Estopace
eGov Innovation

Smart management of traffic and smart parking initiatives will free up around 4.2 billion man-hours annually by 2021, a new study predicts.

This is equivalent to each city driving saving nearly an entire working day per year, according to Juniper Research.

The study, "Worldwide Smart Cities: Energy, Transport & Lighting 2016-2021" noted that increasing urban populations are creating pressure on city resources, driving the need for new and efficient solutions.

But while the ‘smart city’ remains a relatively young concept, many cities are beginning to recognize the need to improve in terms of competitiveness and quality of life. Traffic easing measures are now at the forefront of many smart cities’ efforts.

“Facilitating the movement of citizens within urban agglomerations via transport networks is fundamental to a city’s economic growth,” noted research author Steffen Sorrell. “Congestion reduces businesses’ competitiveness, and contributes to so-called brain-drain.”

Juniper anticipates that 2 million smart parking spaces installed globally by 2021 seeking to improve private and commercial traffic flow.

The research firm also forecasts smart street lighting market, consisting of micro-controlled LED units and sensors, to surge over the next 5 years, with over half of installed LED fixtures being networked globally by 2021.

It said the potential for smart street lighting is not limited to reducing the city’s energy bill. Additional sensors installed on fixtures enable new services for revenue generation, such as municipal Wi-Fi and even retail marketing opportunities.

The combined factors of falling LED costs and emergence of hardware standards for fixtures such as NEMA’s C136.41 are expected to contribute to driving the market forward.

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