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IoT and the public sector

How state and local governments are getting on the IoT bandwagon

August 05, 2019

IoT may still be considered an emerging technology, but perhaps not for long.
 
Based on recent research, the growing popularity of IoT technology in the public sector is undeniable. In 2015, 61% of cities participating in a national survey said they were considering IoT in their IT strategic plans. Just 3 years later (in November 2018), that number reached above 90%—making a clear case for widespread future adoption.
 
How are state and local governments adopting IoT?
Smart parking, street lighting and pedestrian safety are just a few of the services poised to benefit from new IoT initiatives. Today’s sensors can also monitor water pressure and flow, which can help public water authorities use resources more effectively and detect leaks early. And in urban areas, early gunshot detection sensors have had a significant impact on some city’s community policing practices.
 
One thing’s clear: Many cities are finding creative ways to solve government problems with IoT technology, pushing the envelope of what’s possible in the public sector. Here are a few examples of IoT technology in action today—just the tip of the iceberg for what’s undoubtedly much more to come:
 
Coral Gables, Fla.
Located in the Miami area, this city recently won first place (in its population category) in the Center for Digital Government’s 2018 Digital Cities Survey. This city’s IT strategic plan lays out several projects undertaken since 2017, including air quality sensors, pedestrian counters, smart street lights and online dashboards to aggregate all the data together. 
 
Clifton Park, N.Y.
This town is installing long-lasting LED lights and smart city technologies with the hopes of saving $4.5 million over 20 years. The updated street lights will also be equipped with GIS mapping, which is expected to allow for more efficient maintenance of the lights and the ability to dim or brighten specific lights. The lights will also include smart city controls that will, in the future, help the town to monitor air quality, traffic and noise, as well as enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
 
Chicago
The city plans to deploy hundreds of sensors on streetlight poles across the downtown area and in residential neighborhoods to monitor temperature, humidity, wind, noise, air quality and traffic from cars, pedestrians and bicycles.
 
San Mateo, Calif.
Many cities like this one have deployed public Wi-Fi, which also supports applications like smart parking. Sensors can track occupancy and duration in real time, and report data through the cloud. This helps San Mateo make better decisions about parking policies, rates and time limits, making more efficient use of the downtown parking system. The city also uses connected sensors and house meters to help structural engineering teams test the integrity of bridges and tunnels, and better prioritize repair and rebuilding. 
 
For more information on how IoT technology can help cities become “smarter,” connect with the Ingram Micro public sector team today.