Drones, new types of surveillance, digital twins and real-time dashboards are among the technologies that have emerged in new use cases by cities during the coronavirus pandemic, according to ABI Research.
Drones, new types of surveillance, digital twins and real-time dashboards are among the technologies that have emerged in new use cases by cities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Analysis by global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, said that city governments are adjusting to a new reality with Covid-19 driving urban resilience and digital transformation strategy agendas.
Meanwhile, following a joint research project on manufacturing trends, ABI and Nokia reckon that despite so much uncertainty looming, one key theme has become apparent: the need to digitally transform remains crucial.
Dominique Bonte, vice president, end markets, at ABI Research, highlighted that many of the measures taken by city governments during Covid-19 have been decided on-the-fly requiring high levels of improvisation. He added, though, that this has resulted in a rich “laboratory type learning experience” in terms of how to take advantage of the inherent flexibility of technologies to address emergency situations and challenges linked to demand-response management of assets and services.
“This will have a lasting impact, coming out of Covid-19 during and after the drawn-out recovery period, in the form of a step change in how resilience is approached and generalised, allowing to prepare better for future calamities, a distinct silver lining on a very dark Covid-19 cloud,” he said.
ABI details the following use cases that have been used by cities during the pandemic in its latest Smart Cities and Smart Spaces Quarterly Update:
The report reveals how cities are also reaping the benefits of a digital-only lifestyle in the form of the sudden adoption of e-government services, e-health and teleconsultation, remote work, online education, and e-commerce. This has resulted in huge drops in traffic levels and, in turn, is dramatically decreasing congestion, fatalities, and air pollution.
Measures taken have resulted in a rich “laboratory type learning experience” in terms of how to take advantage of the inherent flexibility of technologies.
The report states that post-Covid-19 traffic levels are expected to only reach between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the pre-Covid-19 levels, as digital lifestyles take hold more permanently, driven by both public and private initiatives and incentives.
Covid-19 is also impacting manufacturing and highlighting the importance of accelerating digital transformation strategies. The demands of social distancing are impacting people’s ability to work in close proximity, leading to many manufacturing companies having to pivot their strategies in order to stay afloat. This comes at a time when many organisations are already at a crucial point in their digital transformation strategies, according to research findings in a study undertaken by ABI and Nokia.
“We have reached an inflection point in Industry 4.0 transformation as the fast, secure, low latency connectivity underpinning its implementation now becomes available,” said Manish Gulyani, vice president marketing, Nokia Enterprise.
He continued: “This research indicates the strong marketplace appetite for industrial-grade wireless networking to capture the transformational benefits of digitalisation and automation. We believe that demand, combined with easy-to-deploy private wireless solutions, will drive adoption.”
Enterprise Digital Transformation through Industry 4.0 finds that three-quarters (74 per cent) of respondents are looking to upgrade their communications and control networks by the end of 2022 with the majority (90 per cent) investigating the use of either 4G and/or 5G in their operations.
More than half of respondents (52 per cent) believe that the latest generation of 4G/LTE and 5G will be necessary to meet their transformational goals.
“Vendors need to make the case for investing in Industry 4.0 today to gain a clear competitive advantage over those who choose to wait.”
The research also identified key business use cases that would drive investment in 4G or 5G. Respondents reflected the need to digitalise and improve existing infrastructure (63 per cent), automation with robotics (51 per cent) and achieve new levels of employee productivity (42 per cent).
Ryan Martin, principal analyst, ABI Research said: “Importantly, research findings indicate a preference for deploying private fully-owned and operated wireless networks, with manufacturers favouring in-house management to allay security concerns. It’s evident that respondents are not entirely committed to wi-fi/WLAN and will consider latest generations of wireless technologies. As a result, 2020 is a critical year for networking suppliers to educate the market regarding the merits of 4G/LTE and 5G.
“Based on this research we also observe a pan-industry need to quantify not only the potential ROI of investing in private wireless, but also to clearly indicate the cost of inaction – vendors need to make the case for investing in Industry 4.0 today to gain a clear competitive advantage over those who choose to wait.”
You might also like: