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AI metering and surveillance to dominate smart city market to 2026, boosted by new applications

Video surveillance is increasingly being used for new applications such as urban tolling and the monitoring of low-emission zones, according to ABI Research.

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Smart utility metering for power, gas and water, and video surveillance will remain by far the largest smart city segment, representing 87 per cent of the total number of smart city connections by 2026.

 

This is according to new analysis by ABI Research. The company predicts that smart city tech investments will reach over $61bn globally in 2026

 

While metering is mainly focused on usage monitoring, savings and efficient operation of utility networks, video surveillance is no longer just about security and crime detection and prevention, ABI Research’s Smart Cities market data report finds.

 

Video surveillance is increasingly enabling new applications like urban tolling and the monitoring of low-emission zones to reduce air pollution, mainly in Europe. These systems use licence plate recognition to identify older vehicles banned from entering the zone. AI-enabled video surveillance is also being deployed for general safety applications like pedestrian detection and alerts.

 

Towards predictive cities

 

“Metering and surveillance are increasingly augmented by artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies to enable use cases such as preventive maintenance and advanced machine vision safety and security applications,” said Dominique Bonte, vice president end markets at ABI Research. “AI is increasingly deployed for preventive maintenance (prognostics), water leak detection and other anomalies, demand-response solutions, traffic management and vulnerable road user safety.”

While metering is mainly focused on usage monitoring, savings and efficient operation of utility networks, video surveillance is no longer just about security and crime detection and prevention.

While surveillance cameras with embedded AI computing capabilities from vendors like NVIDIA are already being deployed, low latency 5G connectivity will enable real-time local response management in the future by leveraging more powerful (edge) cloud-based AI capabilities, ABI Research says.

 

Resilience

 

ABI Research’s report finds that: “Both metering and surveillance IoT connectivity are increasingly being embedded in the wider strategies and concepts of resilience and circularity, respectively transcending the narrower focus around safety/security and sustainability.

 

"To that extent, their inclusion in urban modelling and digital twins will enable advanced monitoring, scenario testing, and optimisation of all urban operational systems through real-time digital replicas as well as advancing resilience and circular economy agendas.”

 

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