The Muni-Expo International urban innovation conference will be held on February 13 and 14 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. The event is meant to highlight smart city technologies, and will draw more than 80 municipal delegations from around the world. The high interest in the event is taken as a sign of international attention focusing on Israel’ s progress.
Although there is not direct motive for the development of smart city solutions in Israel, as the country lacks the major cities or mega-metropolises that would benefit most from smart technologies, Israeli companies, including many promising start-ups, are becoming active in the field, eager to become major players in a global market that is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 trillion by 2020.
Israeli companies are already developing, testing and applying several state of the art smart city technologies, including smartphone apps that help navigate traffic, smart parking tools, cybersecurity tools, using artificial intelligence to analyze public feedback, sensors that turn off streetlights when they are not required, or sensors that notify services to collect garbage bins when they are full, or to reduce routes when they are empty. The use of such systems by municipalities allows them considerable savings on public expenditure.
ZenCity is a good example of a promising Israeli start-up. The company uses advanced technology to understand the key concerns of citizens and to share those with the local government. It uses AI and machine learning to analyze citizen feedback provided by e-mail or on social media, and sends the results with city managers via a dashboard. ZenCity is working with ten cities in Israel, the US and France, including a pilot program with the City of San Francisco. It will be one of roughly 150 companies that will be present in the Muni-Expo International Conference.
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