Smart Cities and Dynamics 365
Smart cities, once a radical concept hosted by sci-fi movies with their gleaming metallic domes and minimal infrastructure, is no longer a concept of the future. It is now being put into reality and we will be the witness when it opens its doors for the public.
Techopedia explains ‘Smart city’ as ‘a city that incorporates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs. The overarching aim of a smart city is to enhance the quality of living for its citizens through smart technology.’
Smart cities are cohesive settlements which are the culmination of all the breakthroughs of technology humanity has collecting in their garage. It uses top notch technologies to essentially change how everything is done. From transport to housing to communication, smart cities collect the best of the specific sector and apply it for their own.
For example, Internet of Things is the most advanced technology available to corporations and businesses. Smart city will acquire that to enhance and automate the municipality of the city and optimize the operations needed to keep the city running. Similarly, Artificial intelligence can be employed by the smart city to provide insights to the management or handle automated tasks like utility billing and consumer issues.
This implementation of these technologies saves manual labor, saves time and saves economic resources. This also reduce hurdles and interruptions in the operations and provides for a smooth operative workflow of the city.
Below are some of the few ways smart cities make this optimization happen. Dynamics 365 and the advanced technology infused suite can help in building smart cities:
Energy efficiency: Every process that takes energy to run can be monitored and can be switched on and off automatically according to the habits of the worker. Similarly, residential lights can be turned off when they are not in use by anyone without physically turning them off. This efficiency can be extended to street lights and water systems as well as for outage management and disaster recovery where instant notification of an outage can be received by the control room and help can be notified within seconds.
Traffic control: Automated street lights which observe the traffic flow and make volume appropriate decisions can change traffic flow mechanisms. There would be lesser congestion and the central hub for this management can make changes to the schedules of cleaning, maintenance, emergency relief within seconds. For instance, for a traffic accident detected, the corresponding line from the nearest hospital to the accident site can be cleared for travel potentially saving a lot of lives.
Surveillance: This concept, controversial but in practice in Singapore and mainland China can track each and every movement of a person and record it into the profile of the person which can then be used on demand or used for crime prevention. Though a centralized profiling system has its own moral and ethical limitations and the framework as to how to proceed with its implementation is still in doubt, the potential is available for whoever wants to be the Big Brother. Smart cities might take consent from its residents to be able to provide better security and emergency reactions in the trade of privacy penetrating surveillance systems.
Payment methods: Physical cash is going out of business. Even now, digital payment methods trump usage in everyday lives. Smart cities will adopt revolutionary technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency to abolish the use of cash. This will ensure privacy, anonymity and a complete record of every transaction that will happen between two parties, permanently. The future might even get rid of digital payment systems completely if technologies like facial recognition supportive methods make a move in this industry.
Operations: Through automation of all the operational processes required to effectively run a city, the residents will have complete transparency of operations. They will be in control of what goes around them. For example, a change in policy in the operations would be immediately notified to the residents who can then understand it and its implications and could vote it out or support it in their own circles.
The potential of smart cities is huge but it will take a lot of funding, a lot of acceptance and a lot of thought before execution. To be able to build the likes of a ‘smart city’, billions will be spent and a lot of people will stand up against them. They are right too. The privacy and ethical dilemmas that automation brings with it are too catastrophic to ignore.
“Cameras, microphones, Wi-Fi kiosks and other sensors leave visitors vulnerable to exploitative and invasive data collection methods that allow for the precise tracking of people’s identity, movement, interactions, and behavior. Prior notice and consent should be a baseline requirement.” says Daniel Schwarz, a privacy and technology strategist at the NYCLU.
Dynamics 365 has all the capabilities to ensure proper working of organizations and businesses like a smart city. It has inbuilt AI, IoT and mixed reality support which can potentially change every manner businesses are used to operate in.