Helping Smart Cities Respond to Emergencies Faster
5 JULY 2018
The development of Smart Cities has taken flight, with some exciting real-world benefits being realized across smart transportation, smart utilities and smart building initiatives as well as services such as smart education and smart healthcare. Sensors are now woven into the fabric of city life, generating billions of data points from things like parking meters, street lights, traffic control, weather, public utilities, security and law enforcement, and even garbage collection. And this is just the beginning. Industry analysts estimate that the global market size will grow from $424.2 billion in 2017 to $1,201 billion by 2022 – a CAGR of 23.1 percent. Citizens themselves are also getting on board and have become ‘sensors’ of a sort. By connecting through social media, they provide real-time on-the-ground information on health issues, traffic problems, safety hazards, vandalism, and more.
But while the rise of these smart services is exciting, for a Smart City to really thrive requires the interconnection and integration of data from across each and every connected device, sensor, service and application. Smart Cities will only truly become smart once the entire ecosystem stops working in data silos. In order to do this, collaboration is required – between different government departments, with enterprises and NGOs, and with the city’s citizens themselves. The result will make your Smart City work for you.
By creating a ‘Command and Control Center’ – cities gain unprecedented visibility of the city landscape that allows city planners and first responders to do their jobs more effectively. This ‘spinal cord’ of the city will help support law enforcement, public utilities, disaster management, and environmental and pollution controls. Even public health and education services will benefit. For example, areas of India and Pakistan recently suffered horrendous levels of air pollution so severe that it actually caused traffic accidents, resulting in 10 deaths. The ability for impacted cities to detect and prevent these dangerous pollution levels from occurring in the first place by correlating real-time and historical data across traffic, meteorology, and air quality systems, will literally save lives.
Creating a Command and Control Centre for Smart Cities
At TEOCO, we believe the Smart City Command and Control centers of tomorrow should emulate how many of today’s communications service providers leverage, correlate and analyze the massive amounts of data that is traversing their digital networks. By bringing together Smart City performance management, automation and orchestration functionalities with advanced visualization, Smart Cities have the ablity to provide fast, coordinated responses to emergencies, natural disasters and terrorist attacks effectively and more quickly.
As we reflect on the string of natural disasters that hit North America so hard, with fires in California, earthquakes in Mexico and hurricanes across the U.S. and its territories, we all saw the need for city officials to have real-time information on what is happening across their cities, and be able to analyze and act upon this information in a way that optimizes available resources and minimizes risks to life and property. All too often, valuable information is held in a stove-pipe fashion, instead of being shared and leveraged across teams, systems and functionalities.
For a truly Smart City, a Command and Control Center that integrates data from transportation, utilities, city services, weather tracking systems, first responders, social media, CCTV cameras and more, would be able to provide a big picture view to first responders for how to coordinate their emergency response. For example, by analyzing social media for crowd-sourced updates on where flood levels are rising; coupled with data from flood gauge sensors that provide an alert to say a river was breached, city transportation officials could then implement road closures and deploy life saving services to those in need. This information is then fed to emergency responders so that they will be given alternative route information or plan a different approach to responding to a call out before they arrive at the closed road.
This kind of collaboration is only possible through a proven, carrier-grade service assurance platform that can scale to ingest billions of data records per day and uses open APIs to collect data from almost any source. Data correlation, analytics and automation is then required to provide the advanced incident management needed. The ability to set and enforce policies for various systems, and streamline workflows, are other capabilities that will help ensure that city workers and first responders have access to the right information at the right time, resulting in faster, more reliable decision making. In addition, a Command and Control Center for Smart Cities requires advanced visualization, reporting capabilities and dashboards to help simplify the amount of data being presented, with geo-location information and other specific details available when you need to drill down for more information.
Utilizing the latest techniques in analytics & machine learning, TEOCO introduces HELIX for IoT that provides advanced Smart City performance management, automation and orchestration functionalities including:
- Event and trouble ticket management
- Trend analysis and forecasting
- Real-time outlier detection
- Automatic rules, actuation and notifications
TEOCO brings to the market an end-to-end platform that monitors, optimizes and troubleshoots your Smart City ecosystem. Building upon TEOCO’s 20+ years of experience creating advanced operational systems and sophisticated, carrier-grade big data solutions with advanced IoT capabilities.
Most of today’s cities are already generating billions of data points, but it’s how they correlate, analyze and share this data across teams and organizations that will turn them into the Smart Cities of tomorrow.