Wireless sensor networks for smart cities


San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 11, 2007 – Municipalities worldwide are adopting wireless sensor network (WSN) technology to make their cities safer, healthier, greener, and more productive, according to a recent research study by ON World.

Commercial WSN solutions for transportation, public safety, and municipal services are currently deployed in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Songo, South Korea. Surveys with 220 North American municipalities and public safety organizations revealed that cities are highly motivated to adopt WSN over the next 18-24 months for these and other applications, including utility networks and energy management.

Nearly half of the surveyed municipalities indicated they are planning to adopt an advanced automated meter reading within the next 18 months. Of those with AMR plans, 35 percent plan to adopt WSN solutions, including fixed wireless AMR that will enable them to implement demand response, load management, outage management and other advanced services.

For almost two-thirds of the municipalities public safety is the major driver for adopting new technologies such as wireless broadband or WSN, while 35 percent of municipalities are highly interested in adopting a wireless traffic management system.

Mareca Hatler, director of research at ON World, says that WSN solutions for smart cities are being driven by increased spending on wireless broadband infrastructure, standards such as IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee, increasing green regulations, and the ongoing need for improved public safety.

In another recent survey by ON World, 61 percent of 115 commercial building executives said they planned to adopt an energy management system within the next 18 months.

Of note is that in April plans were announced by the government of South Korea to spend $25 billion on developing the Incheon Free Economic Zone as a prototype smart city, or “city of ubiquity” (u-City), over the next 7 years. The project, aimed at showcasing the benefits of a modern networked city, will feature WSN and RFID as well as other digital technologies for a range of services in industrial, logistics, government, residential and medical industries.