Since traffic congestion is one of the major problems of both developed and developing cities, reports indicate that technologies which would solve traffic and parking-related problems are critical for improving our urban contexts and establishing the smart city.
It is predicted that in the near future, new technology will connect vehicles to physical structures through an everpresent cloud, allowing drivers to instantly reserve and pay for a parking spot on the street or in a parking garage. Urban infrastructures are increasingly being equipped with sensors and other means of collecting information and channeling our every day actions from energy use to parking patterns, into software and networks that analyze data and act upon it. Cities’”and communities’”are becoming “smarter’ as “ the internet of things’ evolves. Pegasus Global Holdings, a company based in Washington, DC, is planning to spend $200 million over the next three years to invest in a “smart city’ with technologies such as: traffic control, smart power grids, cyber security and self-driving vehicles.
The move towards smart traffic systems and smart parking is not influenced by a drive to materialise futuristic models of development but by necessity. Reports calculate that traffic congestion is a major problem. A report by IBM calculated that traffic congestion losses are growing at 8 percent a year in the US, reaching $78 billion in 2005 and still growing. For most developed and developing cities worldwide, congestion related expenses represent between 1 and 3 percent of GDP. The application of smart traffic and parking systems can cut down these costs, save energy, ensure sustainability and provide a firm foundation for the smart cities of the near future.
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