At Mobile World Congress Barcelona hundreds of companies showed off new smart city technologies, some that are just in the start-up phase while others are being implemented in select cities.
One concept further along in deployment is a smart parking meter made by Paris-based Parkeon that is in use in 12,000 locations in New York City alone, and even at beaches in Australia.
There was a startup called See.Sense from Northern Ireland which demonstrated a $99 rear bicycle light with a number of smart features. In addition to connecting to a smartphone to alert a user to a theft of a bike, the ICON device includes an accelerometer that can be used to measure the impact from hitting a pothole or to record a crash.
That data could be forwarded to government officials to alert emergency crews of a crash or to let a road crew know where to patch up the worst potholes, See.Sense officials said.
A technology shown at MWC by Seattle-based Inrix relies on crowd-sourcing data from cars driven along highways.
When a car’s wipers are turned on, that data can be combined with data from nearby cars and with existing big data showing the contour of the roadway and average weather conditions.
BlackBerry officials at MWC noted that such car-based data will help the development of entire networks that could help safely guide autonomous vehicles.
In coming years, data from sensors in cars, embedded along highways and in traffic signals is expected to be shared with the wireless networks surrounding crowded streets so that cars react to the network — instead of each other — to come to a stop at an intersection or to avoid crossing a centre line, said Derek Kuhn, senior vice president for the Internet of Things at Blackberry in a roundtable with reporters.