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What makes a city truly smart?

ASEAN’s key economies – Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – recently celebrated another year of independence. Martin Hayes, President, Bosch Southeast Asia evaluates their progress, and look towards the future.

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Rapid urbanisation has played a key part in the growth of ASEAN’s key economies but has also presented a slew of challenges, including weary infrastructure and rampant traffic congestion, as well as air and noise pollution.

 

To tackle these issues, many ASEAN cities are turning into smart cities – making cities more liveable through smart innovations.

 

With the signing of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network agreements in Singapore in July this year, the discussion of smart cities has been brought back to the forefront. Yet, we ought to ask ourselves the fundamental question – what makes a city truly smart?

 

Making smart cities a reality

 

For Bosch, smart cities help exemplify our vision – creating technologies that are invented for life to make living better, more convenient and sustainable. This spans across safety and security, connected buildings and mobility.

 

Security is a fundamental aspect of us living together peacefully in ever-larger cities. Smarter systems can help us prevent crime or warn us before danger strikes. Many cities today integrate a wide range of networked video monitoring solutions to efficiently protect public areas.

 

These help authorities detect potential threats, enable faster prosecution and improve traffic flow by monitoring and reprogramming traffic lights.

 

In the domain of connected buildings, IoT-based solutions create a range of benefits. For example, elevator monitoring connects all relevant technology components, enabling users to access real-time elevator data. This is available on the cloud anywhere, anytime, helping to improve the efficiency of predictive maintenance.

 

Elevator monitoring connects all relevant technology components, enabling users to access real-time elevator data – helping to improve the efficiency of predictive maintenance.

 

Another key solution is air quality monitoring. This involves measuring several air-quality parameters, allowing users to pinpoint any problems with indoor air. This helps building managers make decisions that ensure a pleasant and safe indoor climate.

 

The third, and perhaps fastest-moving area, is smart mobility, which aims to improve convenience, safety and efficiency through connectivity. The possibilities are endless and reach from vehicle fleets, parking spaces, freight cars to even rail transport.

 

Solutions like connected parking, vehicle safety systems and driver assistance systems are helping to make the cities of tomorrow free of accidents, stress and emissions.

 

The future of smart cities

 

As the IoT continues to advance, data becomes more important. Smart cities are powered through the integration of data analytics into our daily lives.

 

Smart cities are powered through the integration of data analytics into our daily lives.

 

Data collected by sensors and monitoring solutions are increasingly driving exponential improvements in areas such as urban planning, security and transport – all of which are directed at enhancing quality of life for all citizens.

 

Once cities understand that data is the heart of smart cities, governments can have in-depth information to enable strategic decisions for innovation and sustainable economic growth.

 

Concurrently, as ASEAN nations continue to leverage technology, the next wave of digitisation will see citizens taking the driver’s seat, with them connected to every aspect of the city, environment and government services in brand new ways.

 

Since their independence, the countries of ASEAN have come a long way and yet we are still only at the beginning of a new chapter of improved quality of life.

 

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