Smart traffic tech will save city drivers one working day per year

Traffic easing measures are a key element of many smart cities, and a new report has found that smart traffic management and smart parking initiatives will save around 4.2 billion man-hours annually by 2021.

That’s equivalent to each city driver saving nearly an entire working day each year, says Juniper Research.

The study, Worldwide Smart Cities: Energy, Transport & Lighting 2016-2021, notes that cities around the world are starting to recognise the need to improve in terms of competitiveness and quality of life. Expanding urban populations are creating pressure on city resources, driving the need for new and efficient solutions.

Looking specifically at transport, Juniper highlights the importance of establishing good public transport networks to replace private vehicle use. At the same time, other measures such as smart parking technology will help ease the flow of private and commercial traffic.

Juniper expects 2 million smart parking spaces to be installed globally by 2021.

“Facilitating the movement of citizens within urban agglomerations via transport networks is fundamental to a city’s economic growth,” commented research author Steffen Sorrell. “Congestion reduces businesses’ competitiveness, and contributes to so-called brain-drain.”

The report also covers the smart street lighting market, with Juniper forecasting that over half of installed LED fixtures will be networked by 2021. As well as reducing energy and maintenance costs, the installation of micro-controlled LED units and sensors provides greater control over a city’s street lights and enables the launch of new revenue-generating services such as municipal Wi-Fi.

In the energy sector, Juniper anticipates that the deployment of smart grid technology will deliver $18.8bn (£14.3bn) in cost savings in 2021 thanks to reduced energy use and avoided economic costs from emissions. The reduced emissions are equivalent to those produced by nearly 15 million homes annually, the research firm says.

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