Imagine having a conversation with the streets you’re driving/walking on and they actually talked back! Spooky? Well, we know one thing for sure, with IoT – the smart streets are watching and listening, though they might not talk back! Relief!
What Are Smart Streets?
So what comes to mind when you think of smart streets? Always clean, no pot-holes, GPS-like guidance systems to tell you where to go maybe, smooth flow of traffic, etc. Well, smart streets come with real-time IOT sensors that communicate with traffic and utility management services to ensure efficiency in cleanliness and traffic flow.
For instance, storm drains that can clean themselves during heavy rains, street lights (with iot devices like cameras and sensors) that can alert the electric department (for maintenance or replacements) and hospitals (for any emergencies or critical road accidents). Traffic lights that constantly send traffic updates to the central traffic control center to manage traffic flow and minimize congestion.
The same smart street lights and traffic signals also alert the police when someone attempts a street robbery and even sends pictures of the perpetrator to the cops, making it easier during the arrest and trial. This system would even discourage people from attempting something like robbery, I’d say! Best part is, this will also bring much relief to waste management woes as smart streets will take care of garbage maintenance on the roads as well!
How Will It Be Different?
A smart street will be the one with preventive maintenance options, saving the taxpayers a lot of money and time with unnecessary maintenance (after the damage is done). Smart streets also boast of smart trash cans (Wi-Fi enabled and solar powered trash compactors). While residents may also report when maintenance is needed, that might be waiting till the last minute. So these smart trash cans have iot sensors that start compacting trash once a certain level is reached, to avoid overflowing waste on the roadsides. The smart trash-cans also send data to the waste management authorities, helping them plan garbage collection routes more effectively.
The iot sensors in the street lights can actually adjust the light levels. Optimum lighting, conceptualized by comapnies like Eliko, will keep roads bright enough to see even when no one’s on the street, and then imagine the light becoming brighter as you walk through the street, making you feel safe all at the same time.
Smart Streets will solve Traffic Woes
Smart streets can make finding parking spaces a breeze. That alone saves so much time and fuel, which helps reduce the carbon footprint by about 20%. Now that’s an iot project our pollution-choked cities really need! Imagine driving to the busiest street on a Saturday night, for a family dinner to your favourite restaurant. The only thing that’s been on your mind ever since this idea was discussed – love the food there, but where will I find parking?
So you finally get there at 9 PM and the streets are oozing with people and cars, and then this smart traffic light and street lights start showing you directions to the closest parking spot. You didn’t have to wait in queue for valet parking, and you managed to find a parking spot 50 metres away from the restaurant. You make a mental note to give your smart city the credit it deserves. Time out with family can now finally be guilt-free with smart streets – no stress of parking, no safety concerns and energy saving too!