Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM and Qualcomm have signed up for AT&T Smart City Alliance, which will work with Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas cities on projects to create M2M (machine-to-machine) applications and services for local authorities.
The alliance will work with a number of ‘spotlight’ cities and universities, including Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago and Dallas.
Smart Cities are considered an initiative to transform and manage public services, stimulating urban development and improving the lives of citizens through connectivity and associated services.
The key areas that have been identified are infrastructure, citizen engagement, transportation and public safety. AT&T says cities can recognise which roads and bridges need maintenance, inform residents about potential issues, provide real-time transit information, more effectively control traffic and even detect when a gun has been fired.
The company is also working on a dashboard that will allow cities to remotely monitor information such as power outages and water likes – a bit like a real life version of Sim City.
“From water system sensors to advanced analytics and energy efficiency efforts, Chicago has already taken steps to become a Smart City,” said Brenna Berman, CIO of the City of Chicago. “We are excited to team up with AT&T, a leader in Internet of Things solutions, to help us harness the power of near real-time information to create a safer, cleaner and more efficient city.”
One pilot programme will take place in Atlanta, where Ericsson will allow Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an organisation dedicated to protecting water in the Chattahoochee river basin, which provides drinking water for more than four million people.
The organisation will be able to monitor water quality levels in watersheds along the river that snakes past industrial complexes, parks and schools.
“This project will result in cleaner water supplies and a more sustainable future for metro Atlanta and beyond,” said an official.
Gartner estimates that 1.6 billion ‘things’ will be connected to larger Smart City infrastructure by the end of next year.