Big Data, a weapon for smarter cities #huyedeltrafico

Think for a moment. A city is per se an entity unhelpful. It consumes resources and generates tons of waste. humans have the habit of living in cities – the 75% of the world’s population will live in cities in 2030 – and we also have the bad habit of using our car for us to travel. The traffic is already one of the main problems in cities like Beijing or Sao Paulo, and also cause serious pollution in Madrid or Barcelona. Big Data is presented as the solution of the future, a weapon to create cities more intelligent.

What is Big Data?

Big Data will make cities more efficient and human, a cluster of collective intelligence applied to improve our lives.

Is the key question to develop the item that unfolds before you. It is a set of data generated from interactions in social networks, our interactions with our smartphones and the multitude of sensors located on devices connected to the Internet. This set of connected devices – such as cameras or traffic monitoring systems of pollution sensors using air quality – form the “Internet of Things”, or the “Internet of things” .

mcity-coches-autonomos-02-1440pxWhat were once isolated systems, whose information had only one purpose, today received a second life thanks to its connection to the Internet. All the information and data collected form the Big Data, a set of data that cities should use to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. The cities should stop being a being reactive, and become a being proactive. A being that can foresee the needs of the city, before they occur. Will be necessary major investments, which would be recovered with a vengeance.

Think for example in the traffic.

How we can help with Big Data?

The Internet of Things can be a wonderful tool if used correctly. Think of a demonstration that is being organised by Twitter. A smart city would notice the formation of this manifestation and bring in traffic cuts in advance, so that no one is caught by surprise when turning a corner in your car. Another example: a smart city dispatched a truck of garbage to an area in which you are accumulating more rubbish from the account, at an event near you.

Glasgow will invest this year to 24 million pounds in improvements to the technology infrastructure connected.

Are two examples silly, which today consume hundreds of man-hours, and could be automated to the full, without room for human error. The basic idea behind Big Data is efficiency, both in energy and in time, to the inhabitants of the city. A connected system of traffic management could save us tens of hours lost per day by traffic jams, dispatching police units where they are needed, or programming restrictions of traffic in areas which do not harm the whole of the city.

accidente-coche-autonomo-google-1440pxThe traffic lights will be fitted with sensors and cameras traffic may be more intelligent, detecting increasing volumes of traffic. This is a utopia in many cities, but in Glasgow (Scotland), as they are taking Big Data seriously: the surveillance cameras – before used only to prevent crime – are already able to monitor the traffic and the lighting of the streets (Forbes). It is just one of the enhancements that will make Glasgow a city more efficient and connected.

the urban planning of The future will be around Big Data, and the analysis of use of the urban space.

In this way, nobody will complain that a light takes weeks to cast, or of that constantly jams in a street because a work is occupying part of the roadway. Think also of the improvements to citizen security, or the harnessing of energy. Why not turn off the lights in areas in which it does not pass any person or vehicle, and switch them on only when you approach? Why not analyze the feeling of citizenship and to prevent episodes of discontent with a great social cost?

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And what about the mobility?

The infrastructure connected is vital for the implementation of future projects, such as the autonomous car, but there is much work ahead. In a utopian world, but not far off, the infrastructure will communicate with the car, for example to convey information about the traffic. The traffic lights will send their signal to the car, telling us how much time they will remain in red. Also you can redirect the routes of public transport depending on the traffic or increase the frequency of routes to peaks of use.

The moviilidad of the future will not be possible without connected cities and an infrastructure that communicates with vehicles.

In a future that is posed by loaded of restrictions to mobility in large cities, it is vital to a good management of the mobility and infrastructure. The interconnection with the vehicles will be vital to the massive use of the autonomous car. Today, autonomous cars need to be aware of everything that happens around you. In the future, will be able to connect to a city network, a smart grid that will guide their navigation and movements. An implementation for the remaining years, but that will come.

ciudad-2030-3will Not be without challenges and headaches – even in danger of falling into a dystopia social – but it will make our cities similar to the city in the year 2030, that my partner, Luis Ortego described in his brilliant article.

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