US Cities Embrace Digital Technologies to Become ‘Smart’

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Los Angeles, New York, Chicago are the smartest cities in the US, based on a recent ABI Research Smart Cities report. Cities were evaluated across various metrics such as deployment of LED streetlights, smart meters, renewable energy, electric mobility, smart parking, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies, smart waste and first-responder communications.

“New York has the highest deployment of LED streetlights in the US, followed closely by Los Angeles,” said Raquel Artes, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “Chicago will have the highest upgrade of current legacy streetlights, as the local government is targeting to replace 270,000 legacy streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights by 2021.

Additionally, New York, Miami, and Michigan are the leading cities that would likely have the highest deployment of V2X technologies due to government initiatives to boost road safety and accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles. Chicago and Kansas City have recently trial-launched smart Wi-Fi kiosks. And smart sanitation bins are gaining traction in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Tampa City, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco.

While larger cities focus on large-scale deployment of smart-city projects and experimental technologies, their smaller counterparts tend to prioritise projects based on more immediate tangible benefits such as cost savings, carbon footprint reduction and overall quality-of-life improvement.

Top smart-city projects aiming to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution are:

·        Electric Mobility: Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York have the highest deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations, driven largely by government mandates such as zero-emission vehicle programs and Clean Energy Acts.

·        Solar PV: Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix had the highest deployments of solar PV technologies.

·        Smart Meter: California, Texas and Florida were the states with the highest deployments of smart meters.