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

Advertising

Featured Stings

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

A Sting Exclusive: “There can be no global deal on emissions without China and the USA”, Conservative MEP Ian Duncan stresses from Brussels

Vendor Pulse – 2000

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

A rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Yemen

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

ECOFIN: Choosing between the re-unification of Eurozone and a stalemate

Millions of young lives ‘at risk’ says UN labour chief, calling for an end to child labour

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

A Sting Exclusive: “One year on from the VW scandal and EU consumers are still in the dark”, BEUC’s Head highlights from Brussels

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

On Google antitrust case: “Let’s face it, some companies want to hurt Google and it goes as simple as that”

The South China Sea Arbitration: Illegal, Illegitimate and Invalid

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

Two shipwrecks add to ‘alarming increase’ in migrant deaths off Libya coast: IOM

Entrepreneurship’s key to success showcased by a serial young entrepreneur

MEPs call on EU countries to end precarious employment practices

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

No end to Deutsche Bank’s problems: new litigations in the US and frailty in EU stress test

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

JADE Testimonial #2: Jacques @ Process mapping

Eurozone very close to a sustainable growth path

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

Why Renewable Energy is an attractive investment

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

The Italian ‘no’ and France’s Fillon to reshape Europe; Paris moves closer to Berlin

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

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 )

w

Connecting to %s