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Smart city tech shows complex connections between data and sensors

Matt Hamblen | March 1, 2016
Smart parking, smart highways, smart bikes all part of what’s coming.

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. With an insight from car and stationary sensors that it is raining in real time, a big data repository would know precisely the history of freezing rain conditions along that portion of highway that could indicate whether salt trucks need to be sent automatically to the scene.

Traffic and driving intelligence data are already being collected in large cities, but the growing use of low-cost sensors and car-based computers will expand the number of insights that cities can glean to make automatic decisions, analysts said.

BlackBerry officials at MWC noted that such car-based data will help the development of entire networks that could help safely guide autonomous vehicles. Already, newer model cars may have up to 100 different computers, which are used to prevent auto accidents, such as collions, among other tasks.

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 center line, said Derek Kuhn, senior vice president for the Internet of Things at Blackberry in a roundtable with reporters.

That level of driving intelligence is just one example of the complexity that smart cities of the future are bound to face.


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