Could the key to developing smart cities lie at the edge?

Published On: 17th July 2018//1.9 min read//

In an effort to find a sustainable way of living, more and more is being invested into developing smart cities, which will harness the power of the cloud and the edge.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing projects are being adopted to power autonomous vehicle systems, and the technology is being developed to extend these systems to cover aspects of our way of life, such as automating utilities, building control (lighting, cooling, security) and other transport types.

But how will it work?

While a lot of the data is processed centrally, the nature of smart cities rely on connectivity, something that cannot be guaranteed by the cloud alone. This is where edge computing comes in. By linking up remote areas to the central system, problems such as downtime or latency are removed.

Not only are highly available systems important for keeping general systems running, downtime related to poor connectivity could be disastrous in situations where data processing is crucial, such is the case with automated vehicles.

Smart cities will also rely heavily on sensors, to activate smart lighting, smart garbage cans and other reactive services. These will require lightweight edge deployments, to process the data locally, in order to activate the smart equipment. Since you still need lights and garbage services in remote locations, by running edge, you also remove the risk of these sensors falling victim to connectivity issues, which might occur were they connected to a cloud or 5G system.

While development is essential, technology is only one aspect of smart cities, which also rely on effective governance and sensible planning. However, edge computing will definitely be a defining aspect in how we build sustainable cities, and an important pillar in introducing AI into our everyday lives.

Lightweight, highly available edge solutions, such as SvSAN, are perfect for the type of edge computing needs associated with smart cities. Find out more about how SvSAN works seamlessly with IoT technology, check out our E.ON case study, and see how SvSAN is providing sustainable power at the edge. Alternatively, witness the software in action on a live demo by completing the form at the bottom of this page, or simply emailing [email protected]

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