New technologies give us smarter streets

City streets are becoming smarter thanks to technologies such as intelligent street lights, smart parking systems, and sensor-enabled waste bins.

Smart Street Management, a new report from Navigant Research, says that smart street solutions will be adopted at an accelerating rate over the next two years, becoming ubiquitous by 2024.

The report highlights the impact of smart street management solutions on city operations, and estimates that the global market for such technologies will grow from $552.2m (£423m) in 2015 to as much as $5.3bn (£4.1bn) in 2024.

Over the whole 10-year period, the market is valued at a total of $23.8bn (£18.2bn).

“Streets are no longer just a point of physical connection, but also a point of virtual connection to a wide range of service providers and information sources,” commented Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Research. “The street itself is becoming a rich source of data on current activities and the status of street assets.”

People, vehicles and objects on city streets are now connected to the digital domain through sensors, smartphones, connected devices and ubiquitous networks, the report says.

On the streets themselves, as well as smart street lights, parking systems and bins, the new technology includes sensors for monitoring air quality, noise pollution, flooding and other hazards. Streets are also monitored by city transport and public safety teams through intelligent CCTV and other systems and are digitally mapped to provide a range of information services.

The deployment of these digital technologies is changing how city streets are experienced by all users, Navigant Research says.

And for city authorities, the ability to collect, manage and analyse data from multiple sources is becoming a critical element in new approaches to city management, as well as in the provision of better information to residents, visitors and businesses.

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