iotSymphony Use Case - Smart City

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    100+ Years of Enterprise
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    Proof of Concept


Business Challenge:

The definition of a Smart City is one that is technology modern, uses sensors to capture asset data (street lights, trash receptacles, etc.) and image data (sidewalks, streets, parks, etc.), and analyzes this data to surface insights on improving city services. These services can include safer pedestrian areas, cleaner streets, less traffic congestion and improved energy and water management. The goal of a Smart City...

Municipalities struggle with creating a Smart City due to several factors, paramount of which are that each city department has operated as an individual entity for most of their existence, with their own staff, technology, leadership and operating plans, and leadership. Resources and technologies are siloed and their data is never shared, which makes evolving into a Smart City extremely challenging, let alone being able to evolve into a Smart City.

Once a municipality becomes “connected”, they then must leverage the various capabilities of an IoT ecosystem required to make sense and act on the vast amounts of data collected from all systems, sensors, cameras, and other data transmission entities that make up their connected infrastructure. These capabilities will enable a municipality to create improvements in the lives of residents, while driving multiple operational efficiencies and cost savings. For example:

  • Traffic management – identifying traffic patterns across multiple dimensions to better understand and control traffic flow, identify bottlenecks, identify traffic incidents, and direct emergency teams, all in real-time.
  • Streetlight management – understanding human traffic patterns across multiple dimensions to better understand when and where streetlights need to be on (when people are present) and to enhance safety and security for residents and visitors. Additional values are realized with reduced energy consumption and improved energy utilization.
  • Trash collection – monitor waste and recycle receptacles to better manage trash collection services, routes, and resources that reduce costs while ensuring a clean and safe city experience.
  • Flood management – monitor water reservoirs, retention basins, sewer systems and other elements of water infrastructure to mitigate risks of flooding and more effectively utilize emergency crews to resolve issues before flooding occurs.
  • Parking management – real-time awareness of available public parking spaces as well as the identification of what vehicles are parked where to enable more effective notification to drivers about where to park as well as more effective collection of parking fees.
  • Safety and security – early identification of safety and security issues including crowd control, crowd movements, event management, emergency situations, natural disasters, and more.

Impacts to residents:

With advancements in technology being widespread, more and more residents are demanding enhanced city services for their tax dollars. Parking, for example, is a very common frustration for residents with some refusing to travel into a city due to the lack of available parking spaces and other city services. Frustration can get so high that some residents consider moving to another city.


Impacts to the municipality:

Continued struggles managing city services, exorbitant operations costs, lack of departmental collaboration, ongoing budget constraints, and so on. Municipalities know they need to modernize their services infrastructure, but they struggle to identify the right technologies and resources they need to bring this vision to reality.

A better way with iotSymphony:

By leveraging the iotSymphony software platform, municipalities can dramatically change how they operate, maintain, and manage city services. Increases in collaboration across departments further improves operational efficiencies as departmental teams share experiences and best practices. And here is how:

  • As telemetry data streams from the various sensors, cameras, edge devices, and other entities, iotSymphony captures this data and runs it through analysis and a business rule engine to determine if the data requires immediate action or further analysis.
    • Advanced business rules take into consideration variations of measure values and how different measures interact with each other.
    • Advanced business rules enable users to prioritize rules and rule sets to reduce unnecessary alerts and ensure the most impactful alerts or reviewed first.
    • Alerts can activate a decision flow that aligns to enterprise objectives to determine the best course of action. The decision flow can automatically activate an action in an operations system, such as dispatching emergency crews, maintenance technicians, or any other action.
  • If the rules engine determines the data requires further analysis, other pertinent data can be merged with sensor data, such as event data, weather data, etc. The merged data is then run through the analytic model execution engine.
  • The output of this analysis is then run through the decision engine where additional pertinent data can be leveraged, such as the accessibility of resources, emergency personnel, weather, etc. This data is run through a decision framework to determine the best course of action.
    • Based on the data and analytics, any number of decisions are possible
      • Dispatch a maintenance crew to resolve an issue
      • Dispatch emergency services in response to an accident, or other emergency
      • Notify appropriate department management and city management
      • Etc.
  • The identified action is automatically activated in the appropriate city management system, such as a dispatch system, security system, communications system, or any other system.

Outcome for residents:

Residents are much happier as the city operates more efficiently and more effectively utilizes tax dollars. Residents increase their usage of city services, event attendance goes up as well as overall city pride, all of which increases the level of pride residents feel for the city they live in.

Outcome for municipalities:

Managing city services more efficiently creates tremendous value, such as reducing operations costs, improving department collaboration, improving emergency response times and mitigating risks from natural disasters. In addition, becoming a Smart City can generate increased tax revenue as tourism increases and a city becomes a more desired place to live.