City management bodies must look beyond short term goals, and turn to technology by using methods such as computer vision for smart cities’ planning and development.
Smart cities employ a combination of low power sensors, cameras, and AI software to monitor the efficient working of the city constantly. Using computer vision and other allied technologies prove extremely advantageous for governments. Civic officials can efficiently integrate and manage assets using these technologies. Computer vision plays a significant role in managing smart cities as they serve as the ‘eyes’ of the city. Following are the major applications of computer vision for smart-cities:
Implementation of computer vision for smart cities relies on cameras and sensors embedded in roadways to monitor pedestrians, traffic density, and traffic flow. The use of computer vision results in easier traffic management. It helps in maintaining a steady flow of traffic, which results in fewer congestions. Another area in which computer vision can be used for smart cities is making use of ambient light detectors in street lights. These lights can switch on and off depending on the natural light to save electricity. Electricity needs vary according to seasons and climate, and this can be monitored accordingly using computer vision. The brightness can be reduced or switched off completely when no people or vehicles are around. Sensors can detect any human or vehicle approaching to switch on the lights when needed automatically. Smart parking systems also utilize computer vision technology to provide efficient parking solutions. It can detect vacant parking spots and guide drivers to the vacant spots efficiently.
Governments are investing heavily in smart cities for different reasons. A key motivator for building smart cities is enabling better law enforcement and citizen safety. To that end, local or federal governing bodies can utilize computer vision for smart cities projects to maintain law and order. The use of imaging sensors and facial recognition technologies helps in the creation of a database of citizens. It can then be utilized to identify people quickly in case of a mishap or criminal activity. It eases the process of identifying and capturing an unlawful citizen or knowing the details of injured persons in case of an accident. The Department of Homeland Security has already implemented a biometric monitoring system to verify travelers at U.S. airports. They also found success with the Customs and Border Protection pilot. Other civic authorities can plan further development of the city and monitor any illegal development happening without the approval of the authorities and take quick action. The areas under green cover, illegal constructions, and city growth can be easily monitored using computer vision.
The use of computer vision for smart cities enables a safe and secure environment for the citizens. It provides the government with structured ways to manage their jurisdictions and carry out their duties efficiently. Although the use of this technology may seem controversial due to privacy concerns of citizens, further improvement in the technology can help in the smooth and efficient functioning of the city as a whole.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.