NEC @ MWC14: “Smart cities” hold the key to enhancing citizens’ lives and cutting costs

nec-logo-largeWritten by Jean-Matthias Bohli, Senior Researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe

By 2030, 5 billion people — around 60% of the world’s population — will live in cities, compared with 3.6 billion today, turbocharging the world’s economic growth.

City leaders in developing nations must cope with urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while those in developed ones wrestle with aging infrastructures and populations as well as stretched budgets. All are fighting to secure or maintain the competitiveness of their cities, the livelihoods and safety of their citizens while minimising our impact on the environment.

Smart city solutions hold the key to offering citizens a better quality of life by cutting wastage, boosting productivity and reducing costs. Through intelligently-connected infrastructure,buildings, cars and people – combined with real-time data analytics and response solutions – cities can plan and deliver services more cost-effectively. These insights can also help citizens to use services more efficiently, from reducing car emissions to lowering energy bills.

Smart cities solutions span many different sectors, including transportation; public safety and security; energy (smart grid and smart metering) and water and waste management. NEC is contributing to many smart city initiatives across Europe – and on a global basis – with its M2M (Machine to Machine) sensors, big data analytics engine and data visualisation solutions for city operation centres.

For example, NEC has been developing smart traffic solutions from a research idea into mass-market-ready components for over a decade through the Car2Car Communication Consortium and many national and European projects. This will enable cars to alert drivers about vehicles ahead of them at blind intersections, emergency braking situations or an approaching traffic jam. Cities will be able to schedule traffic lights according to demand, informing drivers about the optimal safe speed to get through a green light and the real-time availability of parking spaces.

At the same time, we’re working on the EU-backed Smart Santander project, providing the operation centre technologies that are used to visualise data in an easy-to-understand format from 20,000 sensors and cameras that are being used to manage traffic congestion, parking and public transport, street lighting, refuse collection services, pollution and park irrigation systems. Santander is already saving around 25% on its electricity bills by switching off street lighting when ambient light levels are high and saving 20% on its refuse service costs with just-in-time collections when the bins are reaching capacity. It expects to reduce emissions from traffic congestion by up to 30%.

Another key strand of research involves a multi-year partnership between NEC and Imperial College in the UK on water pipe leak detection. Demand for water is expected to increase by 40% by 2030 according to the European Environment Agency. Yet according to many estimates as between 20% and 40% of water is wasted due to leaks. NEC’s piezoelectric sensors – integrated into pipes, pumps and the soil – can detect minute vibrations enabling repairs to be carried out quickly. They use an improved ceramic material, developed by NEC, and a new magnification mechanisation that enables the conversion of the waveforms into electrical signals. The sensors can even detect a single drop of water landing on a sheet of glass.

Security and trust will be critical to the success of these smart city solutions and their acceptance by the citizens. It is essential to conduct ongoing R&D to bring solutions to market that ensure they operate securely and the data and information involved is protected. Innovations are needed to reduce the risk of data theft that can lead to identity fraud and financial damage and potential disruption to operation of public infrastructure by malicious and highly determined hackers who are always looking for new ways to exploit IT systems. For these reasons, NEC is heavily involved in SMARTIE (SMArter ciTIEs data management), an EU project that aims to create a secure platform that protects M2M sensors and devices and the processing and storage infrastructure, to ultimately protect the integrity and privacy of smart city data.

NEC is working on new remote attestation mechanisms as part of this project to protect low cost M2M devices without the need of a bulky and expensive TPM (Trusted Platform Module) which carries a high communication overhead both in terms of the volume of data transmitted and number of interaction rounds. The focus is on developing inexpensive, compact hardware anchors or taking a purely software-based approach to attestation. A second focus is on the processing of encrypted data to realise smart services while protecting data integrity and privacy. The SMARTIE solutions will be tested in smart traffic, smart public transport and smart energy demonstrators in the cities Frankfurt/Oder in Germany, Novi Sad in Serbia and Murcia in Spain.

It is clear that the raft of new smart city technologies coming onto the market have huge potential to address a wide range of social, environmental and economic governmental goals. Cities can play a role in leading and facilitating collaboration between industry, academia and citizens to deliver smart city solutions. They should look for ways to attract capital and create organisational structures which have the authority and capacity to deliver innovative programmes.

Large scale trials of whole systems should be implemented with a focus on business models and deployment, rather than just the technology. Those city administrators that take these steps will reap the greatest benefits from innovative smart city technologies over a relatively short time-frame and long into the future.

Jean-Matthias Bohli, Senior Researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe

Jens-Matthias Bohli is a Senior Researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe and a specialist in cryptography, computer networks, cyber security and computational methods. He holds a PhD in Computing from Kahlsruhe University and has previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Sussex.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Slight easing of G20 GDP growth in first quarter of 2018

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

GSMA Outlines New Developments For MWC19 Shanghai

Spirit unlimited

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

EU announces record €550 million contribution to save 16 million lives from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

EU free-trade agreements with Canada and US: imagine the fallout if put to national referendums

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

MEP Cristiana Muscardini @ European Business Summit 2014: International Trade in Europe

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Cameron corroborates that Britain should remain in the EU

Contact the Sting

Member States agree to Commission proposal to support Irish beef producers impacted by market uncertainty

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

A Sting Exclusive: why the environment is important to your health, by UNEP’s Head for Europe

New malaria vaccine trial in Malawi marks ‘an innovation milestone’, declares UN health agency

Zeid calls for ICC probe into Myanmar Rohingya crisis

Wednesday’s Daily brief: Day 3 of anti-hatred summit, UNFPA turns 50, Ben Stiller #WithRefugees, updates on Abyei

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

New migration pact highlights key role of business in protecting migrants, say UN experts

From farms to supermarkets: MEPs approve new EU rules against unfair trading

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: migration tragedy in the Rio Grande, drugs report, Torture Victims Day

5 facts about global military spending

‘Global care crisis’ set to affect 2.3 billion people warns UN labour agency

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

Concern rising over fate of Rohingya refugees sent home by India: UNHCR

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

Trade with the United States: Council authorises negotiations on elimination of tariffs for industrial goods and on conformity assessment

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Hope’ on the horizon as UN Peacekeepers push deep into Mali

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

The new assembly lines: Why AI needs low-skilled workers too

Income inequality threatens the socio-political structures in developed countries

The European brain drain and the deteriorating medical workforce

The COP24 Agreement: Yes, it happened at last

The Stray

Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

Somalia has ‘once in a generation’ gender equality opportunity – UN Women chief

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Banking moguls continue brandishing financial Armageddon to intimidate us all but in Davos they worry about the very distant future

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

These are the world’s most positive countries

Discussion at Europe House: Brexit & Food

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

Girls groomed for suicide missions fight back against the extremists of Lake Chad

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
    Environmental safety equipment townsville

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s