Why There is Hype Around Smart City Technology Amid COVID-19?
Published on : Saturday 18-04-2020
By : Editorial Team
We all know the world is currently fighting against the Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected millions of lives and shutter businesses around the globe. Despite this, there is an increasing interest around smart cities that can help combat the pandemic. There are many countries worldwide that are already taking significant measures towards developing smart cities. But there is a question raises how smart cities are assisting in the fight against COVID-19. To defeat this virus, many governments and local authorities across the world are using smart city technology, sensors and data to trace the contacts of people infected with the coronavirus.
Smart cities have been seen as a great defense technique against the pandemic as they use cutting- edge connectivity and urban planning to survey citizens. For instance, China has attributed strict ordinances and smart technology as major advantages in preventing the spread of the virus. According to reports, smart cities are being used to determine whether social distancing rules are followed or not. Several countries have also introduced social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
To understand how smart city technology is effective in social distancing, a team at the Newcastle University Urban Observatory has developed an urban data dashboard to understand the impact of social distancing measures on people and vehicle movement within a metropolitan city in real time. Through this analysis, the team found that pedestrian traffic has plunged by a gigantic 95%, compared to the usual annual average. Similarly, they have also used automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, and found that vehicle traffic has fallen by around 50%.
A smart city technology that assesses and utilizes urban big data in real-time is used to understand the movement of patients with new coronavirus infections in South Korea. The government in the country has been using the Smart City Data Hub since March 16. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts epidemiological investigations on confirmed patients as measures to prevent the spread of corona19 to identify the location and path of transmission.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport created a corona19 epidemiological investigation support system that uses the smart city data hub, a city data analysis tool that has been developed jointly with the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2018. More other countries globally are also turning to smart cities technology in similar ways.
A smart city technology can assist in tracking disease, such as using Artificial Intelligence to track the spread of viruses and other infectious diseases are improving the rate and efficiency of pandemic response. On the other hand, using autonomous delivery can help prevent people to get exposed to the virus by delivering food and other essential things autonomously which put away one person to get in contact with another one, possibly following social distancing.
Smart cities that implement autonomous delivery options including drones, driverless trucks and vans, and even self-driving ships can impeccably control the transportation of goods and services in times of crisis. City officials, scientists, and researchers can use these technologies to prevent the disease from spreading.
As we have already seen the potentials of smart cities in help transforming urban areas, smart city technology has a lot of advantages in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond as well.