Smart Cities

Smart cities for a better world

The cities of the future will be safer, more sustainable, efficient, comfortable, and interactive.

They will be an urban environment that is permanently communicating with the citizens and capable of managing public services in real time to improve their quality of life through traffic management, garbage collection, irrigation systems, alerting the local authority when an incident occurs and allowing the government to stay in touch with the people. M2M technologies allow for the collection and transmission of information helping us to make more intelligent decisions.

The city of the future is a Smart City thanks to m2m solutions.


Why a Smart City is a better city

Why a smart city is a better city
  • Better decisions

    A city generates an enormous amount of information. A traditional city loses it; a Smart City is capable of collecting it, managing it and taking advantage of it to make better decisions.

  • Gaining optimization and sustainability

    Making better decisions based on real-time information leads to optimized city costs, and more efficient and environmentally friendly processes.

  • Improving quality of life

    The final purpose of a Smart City is to improve the lives of its citizens who, thanks to M2M technology are also able to get involved in the management of their environment.

Smart parking
Real-time information about parking spots and notifications when restricted spots are being occupied (load/ bus stations, disabled) thanks to sensors embedded in the road.

Actual example:

There is a service offered in San Francisco providing information about the availability of parking spaces in real time through an smartphone application. Citizens can locate free parking spots and its price through a very intuitive graphical interface.

Fleet management
A solution for fleets of vehicles that identifies the position of all service operator vehicles in real time. It also produces multiple reports to plan the activity, induce savings and improve the service’s quality perceived by citizens.

Actual example:

The system of fleets of the Spanish Ministry for Development allows management of all the snowplows in the country.

Electric vehicles infrastructure
Charging point infrastructure with real-time information about closest stations, availability and booking of charging time slots, all accessible from smartphone and web applications.

Actual example:

An electric car rental service in Madrid allows the users to drive in a way that is economic and eco-friendly. Moreover, the City Council allows these cars to park freely in restricted areas and to drive through the residential priority areas.

Traffic management
Road network monitoring to determine traffic density in real-time and update the recommended optimal routes to reduce travel time and congestion.

Actual example:

The city of Barcelona has a mobile application that facilitates the visualization of traffic in real time. It allows the user to identify the best route in order to avoid congestions and accidents, therefore saving time. The user can also consult the images received by 30 cameras positioned around all the districts, which are updated every five or ten minutes.

Intelligent transport system
Real-time time information of public transport schedules, incidents, routes, stops, vehicle position tracking and travel time, thanks to devices installed in the vehicles.

Actual example:

The subway of London uses a system that facilitates the proactive maintenance of facilities for more than 200 miles of roads, 250 trains, 100 stations, 2,395 structures, 71 lifts and 277 escalators. Thanks to real-time monitoring, it is possible to optimize maintenance, reduce costs and alleviate stress for the users.

Community biking
Infrastructure distributed throughout the city to share bicycles for short periods with real-time information about availability, booking and state of the bicycles per station.

Actual example:

Copenhagen Wheel Project consists of a bike’s wheel that makes it a hybrid vehicle with an engine that uses some of the energy from the cyclist’s pedalling. In addition, the wheel is equipped with sensors that detect the levels of air pollution. Using a smartphone it is possible to share this information with other users on the Internet. The collective data is converted into maps of pollution, traffic or noise in the city. Therefore, the cyclists can choose the path that better suits them.

Smart taxi
Taxi location and booking tool based on mobile apps. The user books a taxi based on his / her position and the solution alerts the closest available taxi (equipped with a M2M solution to provide info about location). Additional features include billing and other capabilities.

Actual example:

Singapore is a city that depends heavily on taxis for transportation. Taxis’ routes monitoring offers important traffic information.

Smart building
Solutions for centralized and remote management of premises, with energy efficiency management modules to gain insight on consumption patterns and control modules to automatically act over the devices.

Actual example:

In Songdo, South Korea, a newly constructed Smart City built from scratch, all of the commercial buildings are linked together for better efficiency. The systems in each building can communicate with one another through a united command centre and manage individual building functions to reduce consumption of energy.

Smart Home / Smart Metering
Electricity/Water/Gas smart metering solutions to optimize energy efficiency through better insight on real-time consumption, losses and fraud.

Actual example:

In August 2010, in Norman (USA), 42,000 Smart Meters were installed. Electricity consumption during peak periods decreased by 33%. In addition, users who had a smart thermostat at home saved 57%.

Smart urban lighting
Solutions that allow to easily schedule when lights are to be on or off and set dimming levels for individual or groups of lights. The right level of lighting needed at every time of the day, season, weather conditions or motion detection can be set.

Actual example:

Lyon (France) has saved up to 80% of energy with more efficient illumination systems.

Waste management
End-to-end waste management solution to integrate the data from containers (type, filling level) and traffic information in the optimal route detection of the waste collection fleet.

Actual example:

In Vitoria (Spain) the containers have a GPS device to report its location, as well as the last collection and weight. In addition, a GPS device is installed in almost the entire fleet of cleaning and waste collection vehicles. This makes possible to optimize routes and save time and resources.

Watering management
By controlling gardens’ soil humidity with an M2M solution, irrigation can be planned according to their needs, making it possible to save costs.

Actual example:

The level of moisture of the ground in San Cugat del Vallés’ (Barcelona, Spain) gardens is measured by sensors that have reduced 20 % the water used in irrigation.

Noise detection
Noise sensors distributed across the city which can identify different types of noise (traffic, gunshots, alarms...) and send notifications/alerts.

Actual example:

The city council of Badajoz (Spain) plans to install noise detectors in order to detect anomalous situations on the streets.

NFC services
Near Field Communication technology allows smartphones to act as enablers for transactions (mobile payments, e- wallet), as a user identification for access to controlled facilities and as public transportation tickets.

Actual example:

In Nice (France), a pilot based on NFC technology has been deployed to make payments. Public transportation is the first service in which this solution has been implemented.

Digital signage
Connected displays that automatically show specific messages and advertisements based on target customer characteristics (identification of gender, age, number) or show content based on centralised decisions.

Actual example:

Hitatchi-Rail in Tokio, for example, uses digital signage to cater to the specific travellers’ needs . Examples of information displayed through digital signage include train times updates, weather information or news, This signs are also used for digital advertisements.

City guide applications, accessible from smartphones and tablets, that use augmented reality functionality as a differential value, being able to receive updated information, institutional messages, tips or recommended itineraries.

Actual example:

An augmented reality based application allows navigation through a three-dimensional map of cities (such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco...). The application is an accurate representation of the cities that includes all the buildings and the most relevant information about hotels, bars and restaurants.

Connected retailer
City retailers can be connected to a common platform to offer real time information on a product, its availability, promotions, opening times, etc. advertised in real time on city digital signage.

Actual example:

The mobile application, AisleBuyer, allows customers to scan product barcodes and instantly receive information such as price, promotions, recommendations, and customer reviews. The app uses shopping history to personalize coupons and offers for the user.

Smart City dashboard
Management information tool that provides the user with an interface of relevant data (operation KPIs) of the city. It’s designed to make easy to read and give a global comprehensive view of the smart services of the city.

Actual example:

In London, the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis has developed a website that organizes urban data and makes information, such as the number of share bikes available and the current air quality, accessible to users in real time. The site also displays the weather, trending Twitter topics, and local news.

Smart City operations centre
Consolidates all city maintenance and operations (including emergencies) information. By functioning as a central network, the Operations Center provides citizens with efficient, quality service and integrated capabilities.

Actual example:

Rio de Janeiro has incorporated a 24/7 smart operations centre that integrates 30 city agencies, allowing for the interaction of traffic and public transportation systems and monitoring the efficiency of power and water supplies. The system also helps provide response to emergencies and mitigate crime.

City maintenance
Fixing any sort of urban asset (mechanical, plumbing or electrical device) aided by smart solutions to improve service efficiency, quality and control by using mobile devices and Near Field Communications.

Actual example:

Barcelona citizens can use a smartphone application that allows them to report incidents in the streets. The application is very simple and intuitive: types of incidents can be selected and a form can be filled out. The user can include a photo and the location of such incidence.

Video surveillance
Video-monitoring of public spaces with advanced security applications capable of face identification and tracking, theft attempt detection, accident identification and notification.

Actual example:

The city of Ceuta (Spain) has more than 250 cameras around the city connected to emergency services. Images from the cameras are combined with the analysis of the video in real time, which offers numerous advantages to maintain security.

Tele-health and tele-care
Health tele-monitoring services for home based chronic patients follow-ups, tele-diagnostics for simple consultations and tele-assistance devices for emergency situations (e-call, panic button, falls).

Actual example:

In the German city of Friedrichshafen they are developing telemedicine systems designed to improve health care. For instance, diabetics who are already using the GlucoTel control system do not have to frequently visit their doctor anymore, thanks to a remote system that recovers all their data.

Emergency management
A solution for emergencies based on multi-area (police and fire departments, ambulances, etc.) and real-time position tracking to give optimal responses. Information about emergency units could be crossed with real time information about the city (traffic, mobility, etc.) to improve efficiency.

Actual example:

In Rio de Janeiro, sensors and video feeds create real time maps helping officials predict problems and respond to them sooner. Their emergency management system has improved response time by 30%. The system also helps predict weather and natural disasters, assisting the city to react quickly in times of emergency.

  • How does
    a Smart City operate
    with M2M technology

  • A Smart City is an environment that involves many technologies
    and multiple agents: from sensors scattered throughout the whole city
    (to collect any kind of data: traffic, water, energy…) to the mobile devices
    of the citizens; from mayors to traders. All these data must be managed
    by a platform that centralizes and processes it.


Players in a Smart City

The provision of services in smart cities involves the participation of many actors
of a different nature and character, who will play different roles.

City Councils

City councils are the ones that have the capability to take advantage of the benefits offered by M2M solutions and impulse them in
their cities to transform them into smart cities, improving their efficiency and sustainability. Councils are set to be the main promoters
of the concept of a Smart City to improve the life of their citizens.

  • contractors

    Companies in charge of providing
    services to City Councils. They are
    responsible for implementing and
    developing an infrastructure that
    supports a Smart City.

  • Telcos

    They are the ones in charge of
    implementing connectivity between
    urban elements, as well as developing
    solutions that analyze and process all
    the information they provide
    to make a city smart.

  • Business & entrepreneurs

    The technology of a Smart City results
    in them being able to take advantage 
    in order to improve their services
    for the citizens. For new businesses and entrepreneurs, a Smart City works as an open development ecosystem
    to generate new ideas and services.

  • Citizens

    They are the ultimate beneficiaries of a Smart City,
    thanks to better services and a more efficient environment.