Street lights are still the most convenient way to smart cities
As COVID-19 expands the limits of city budgets, it is expected that the investment and deployment of smart city projects will be reduced by 25% compared to the previous plan. Experts say that choosing the right project is essential to get the best return.
In the post-epidemic era, smart street lights and utility meters will likely continue to be the infrastructure of smart city systems.
Those responsible for modernizing traditional urban infrastructure to improve data collection efficiency and other efficiencies believe that the smart street light project is and will continue to be the foundational result of these efforts.
"In general, I think that over time, smart street lights and smart metering projects will continue to grow significantly in the U.S. market, even with the current COVID-19 pandemic," said Ben Gardner, president and co-founder of Northeast Group. A smart infrastructure market intelligence company headquartered in Washington, DC
These projects are attractive because they save energy in the city. Connected street lights or LEDs save on average 66% of energy consumption, Gardner said in a webinar.
"Since the city is now in a tight budget environment, these projects are a great way to save a lot of money," Gardner said.
A few years ago, smart street lights and smart meters were gradually applied with the emergence of smart city technology, which provided efficiency, cost savings and established benchmarks for data collection and analysis of other applications.
As cities struggle with the slow economic recession brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic, these projects may be the most meaningful projects for the same reason as before the recession: return on investment.
"Smart Street Light" is just a very clean and proven business case. We will get very attractive returns," Gardner said.
Bob Bennett, the founder of B2 Civic Solutions, a smart city consulting company in Missouri, was the chief innovation officer of Kansas City, Missouri. He advised leaders to focus on the needs of the community.
Bennett suggested during the webinar: "People-oriented." "However, your secondary point of interest will be where your current budget lies."
Gardner said that as leaders have increased their attention to emerging technologies such as video capture and facial recognition that are commonly used in smart street lights, it may be backtracked.
He said: “I think there are real concerns about these technologies and they need to be dealt with in a very subtle way.”
After protests across the country have drawn attention to unfair policing, racial inequality, and seemingly limitless technical fields, video capture technology around facial recognition is attracting attention.
"I think this is a rapidly evolving field, and the situation is changing so rapidly that we really need to understand how things are going," Gardner said in response to media questions about capturing video data. Discussions about how governments should use this data. "But I think the city itself is indeed a bit procrastinating now. I don't think many cities will enter this field in the near future."
Gardner pointed out that the city’s economic recovery may take two possible paths, and pointed out that the U-shaped recovery means that the city’s financial situation will not return to normal until 2021 or 2022.
"We have seen that some existing deployments have been suspended and some new deployments have been postponed. Therefore, we do think this is a very likely situation." Gardner said that he expects the deployment of smart city projects this year to be more popular than the pandemic. The previous forecast is reduced by 25%.
Gardner said: "No matter what happens in the stock market, especially in the field of smart infrastructure, it is impossible to rebound quickly." "The supply chain is severely damaged, and the municipal budget is under too much pressure to rebound quickly."