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Digital Transformation in Smart Cities

  • Smart cities
  • urban
  • traffic
  • streetlights
  • safety
  • waste management
  • environment
  • mobility
  • transport
  • data
  • bodycams
  • Paras Sharma
This report examines digital transformation (DX) in Smart Cities, enabled by the key technology groups that are the focus of Transforma Insights’ research. It identifies nine key 'domains of change' in smart cities, where urban areas can harness new technologies to reduce costs and improve public services.

This report examines digital transformation (DX) in Smart Cities, enabled by the key technology groups that are the focus of Transforma Insights’ research. The report focusses on city operations and administration rather than the full range of technological changes currently taking place within many cities, excluding aspects such as building automation, smart homes, smart grids, and smart utility meters.

Digital Transformation potential in Smart Cities

Many city authorities have sought to modernise their city infrastructure with the aim of improving the quality of life for their residents. With rising urbanisation, increasing traffic congestion, air quality challenges, and security concerns authorities often feel obliged to introduce technological solutions and so contribute to the evolution of cities into smart cities. Currently, the majority of the world’s population resides in cities and most of the world’s GDP is generated by urban centres, which puts pressure on generally limited city resources. To be successful the smart city ecosystem requires a cohesive collaboration between residents, businesses, and the relevant authorities to transform a city into a smart, environment friendly, and secure place to live and work.

Nine key 'domains of change' in smart cities

Overall, we have identified nine (9) key domains of change in cities, urban areas, and campus environments and that characterise smart city environments. These are discussed in more detail in this document and comprise:

  • Smart Traffic Management, including traffic monitoring and parking space and toll booth monitoring systems that are used by city administrations to monitor and manage traffic flows.
  • Smart Streetlights, which allow for the efficient use of electricity by adjusting brightness based on motion detection or other parameters and additionally promote safety. Often smart streetlights are also equipped with other monitoring and control capabilities.
  • Public Safety, including connected and AI-enabled CCTV for assisting city administrations in surveillance and ensuring safety for citizens.
  • Waste Management, including the use of smart waste bins to support efficient waste management.
  • Environment Monitoring, including the monitoring of environmental pollutants.
  • Smart Mobility, including new and emerging transportation modes that can reduce the use of private vehicles.
  • Integrated Transport Systems, including the use of technical solutions and platforms that can provide near real-time public and private transport network data, covering multiple modes of travel in a single interface.
  • Smart Data Management, defined as the collection and storage of data from multiple sources, including IoT devices, to provide a comprehensive unified data platform to support local authorities, businesses, and governments.
  • Wearable Cameras for Personal Protection, including body-worn cameras used by first responders and other workers who interact with the general public to capture and store image data.

Collectively, the concepts listed above will bring significant changes to smart cities in the coming years.

Tracking the impact of 11 Digital Transformation technologies

This report focusses on digital transformation in Smart Cities as enabled by the key technology groups that are the focus of Transforma Insights’ research. These technology groups comprise:

  • 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • Data Sharing
  • Distributed Ledger
  • Edge Computing
  • Future Technologies
  • Human Machine Interface
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Robotic Process Automation

Clearly, not all of these technology groups are directly relevant to smart cities, but many of them are highly relevant (including IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Data Sharing, and others).

Accordingly, the aim of this document is not to chart the future direction of smart cities, but to highlight the key areas of change, enabled by new and emerging technologies. The bulk of this report discusses these key areas of change and includes an overview of each area together with discussion of key benefits and an analysis of key vendors for each area. We also identify key enabling technologies for each area (from the list above) and provide summary details of illustrative case studies that are available in Transforma Insights’ Best Practice & Vendor Selection database.

The purpose of the document is two-fold. Firstly, from the perspective of a practitioner working in city administration, the document highlights new and emerging aspects of change that should impact in the next few years. Secondly, from the perspective of potential vendors in the Smart Cities space, it highlights key emerging areas of opportunity to sell new products, services, and solutions. Our analysis of the key technologies that enable each of the identified areas of digital transformation will help vendors of horizontal (technology-specific) capabilities to identify the contexts in which they may be able to secure new business opportunities.

Specific exclusions from the scope of this report (but which are all discussed in other Transforma Insights reports) include:

  • Smart energy management including smart gas and water meters, smart grids, and other such technologies.
  • Smart buildings and smart home-related solutions.
  • Healthcare related activities.

The final section of the report provides an analysis of key vendors supporting the identified solution areas, together with an analysis of leading smart cities with details of the kinds of solutions that each has deployed.

  • Aeroqual
  • Aimsun
  • Atos
  • Axis Communications
  • Axon
  • Baidu
  • Bentley Systems
  • Bigbelly
  • Bosch
  • CGI
  • Cisco
  • Civilia
  • Cleverciti
  • DJI
  • Ecomesure
  • EcubeLabs
  • Enevo
  • Fujitsu
  • Giant Bicycles
  • GMV
  • Honeywell
  • Init
  • Inrix
  • Interparking
  • IQAir
  • Itron
  • Johnson Controls
  • Libelium
  • Lyft
  • Motorola
  • NordSense
  • NoTraffic
  • Oizom
  • Pedego
  • Qualcomm
  • Quantela
  • Sensoneo
  • Signify
  • Software AG
  • Spark
  • SRL Traffic Systems
  • TCS
  • Telensa
  • Telit
  • Teradata
  • Thales Group
  • Trapeze
  • T-Systems
  • Tvilight
  • Verizon
  • Via
  • Wipro
  • Wolfcom
      • Government
      • Administrative